FREE CHILD CARE

Kids Excel

The Excel Center® is operated by Goodwill L.E.A.D.S., a not-for-profit organization formed by Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc.

The Excel Center addresses needs outside the classroom, provides free drop-in child care centers, offers free transportation assistance, and gives students the ability to balance school and work schedules. The Excel Center allows students to learn at their own pace and complete their educational requirements throughout the year.

At all of our locations, students develop supportive relationships with staff and classmates to encourage progress and academic engagement. Students often work in teams that meet weekly to offer support, talk about the challenges of balancing school and life circumstances, and celebrate achievements and milestones.

Why it is important to have high scope in childcare especially with our population?

High Scope is a research and evidence-based early childhood curriculum, that began in 1962 in Yspilanti, Michigan with academically, at-risk children (HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 2019). We know children who are raised in homes with limited education need a variety of new experiences and need to be fully engaged with the world around them! In High Scope classrooms, trained in children development research and theory, children interact with materials and are encouraged to develop critical thinking and reasoning as they talk and explore the world around them. Teachers are trained in “best practices” with young children and offer a range of developmentally appropriate activities each day. Children are encouraged to make choices and be “active learners” in all they do (HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 2019).

The national standard for kindergarteners to be successful is to enter the doors with a vocabulary of 5000 working words and to identify at least 10 letters of the alphabet. High Scope provides the framework for success with our population for this vocabulary and developmental focus. As the parent learns in Excel Center classes, the child is learning in Kids Excel, providing the family with the foundation for long-term learning success!

Staff Requirements

ALL staff in Kids Excel must have a high school diploma and are trained in the full, 120 clock hour curriculum class to develop their understanding of young children and how they learn.

Our lead Early Childhood Educators are strongly encouraged to have at least an associate’s degree in an early childhood related field.

The Early Childhood Services Director has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and is a certified High Scope trainer.

Child’s milestones to be set up for future success

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-5yr.html
(This is the guideline Kids Excel and the National Association for the Education of Young Children follows.)

South Bend:

In South Bend, we are currently working towards an outdoor playscape to complete our fenced area. In addition, we are working towards obtaining commercial grade furniture to withstand the number of children who use our materials, daily.

  • Toddler Kitchen
  • Preschool Kitchen
  • Toddler kitchen table and chairs
  • Preschool kitchen table and chairs
  • Toddler Kitchen
  • Preschool Kitchen
  • Toddler kitchen table and chairs
  • Preschool kitchen table and chairs
  • Toddler small group tables and chairs
  • Preschool small group tables and chairs
  • Toddler area rug
  • Toddler soft climber for indoors
  • Commercial children’s bookshelves
  • Commercial changing tables
  • 3 play pens

South Bend:

In South Bend, we are currently working towards an outdoor playscape to complete our fenced area. In addition, we are working towards obtaining commercial grade furniture to withstand the number of children who use our materials, daily.

  • Toddler Kitchen
  • Preschool Kitchen
  • Toddler kitchen table and chairs
  • Preschool kitchen table and chairs
  • Toddler small group tables and chairs
  • Preschool small group tables and chairs
  • Toddler area rug
  • Toddler soft climber for indoors
  • Commercial children’s bookshelves
  • Commercial changing tables
  • 3 play pens

Hammond:

  • Playscape for our soon-to-be fenced area!
  • Soft climbers for our infant and toddler classrooms
  • Infant rockers

Gary:

  • Playscape at our new center
  • Soft climbers for our infant and toddler classrooms
  • Infant rockers
  • 2 play pens

Hammond:

  • Playscape for our soon-to-be fenced area!
  • Soft climbers for our infant and toddler classrooms
  • Infant rockers

Gary:

  • Playscape at our new center
  • Soft climbers for our infant and toddler classrooms
  • Infant rockers
  • 2 play pens

All three sites are in need of wagons for safe transport out of the centers in case of emergency. In addition, we are always in need of healthy snacks for our young children.

A “day in the life”
INFANTS and TODDLERS:

“A consistent yet flexible routine that accommodates individual children’s natural rhythms and temperaments gives infants and toddlers a sense of security and stability that creates trust between the child and teacher and builds independence as children engage with their environment and the people around them. Each routine is built around daily events and caregiving routines that value infants’ and toddlers’ active learning.” (HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 2019).

8:30 AM Greeting time, parent and child time

8:45 Choice time on the carpet with teachers

9:30 Clean up

9:45 Diaper changes

10:00 AM Bottles and Snacks

10:20 AM Morning Nap

11:15 AM Small group / treasure box time

11:30 Diaper changes

11:40 Music and movement with teachers

11:50 Lunch with parents

12:20 Afternoon nap time

2:00 Diapers, bottles, snacks

2:30 Choice time on the carpet with teachers

3:35 Clean up

3:45 Good-bye

8:30 AM Greeting time, parent and child time

8:45 Choice time on the carpet with teachers

9:30 Clean up

9:45 Diaper changes

10:00 AM Bottles and Snacks

10:20 AM Morning Nap

11:15 AM Small group / treasure box time

11:30 Diaper changes

11:40 Music and movement with teachers

11:50 Lunch with parents

12:20 Afternoon nap time

2:00 Diapers, bottles, snacks

2:30 Choice time on the carpet with teachers

3:35 Clean up

3:45 Good-bye

PRESCHOOL:  

https://www.nj.gov/education/ece/curriculum/schedules/HighScopeDailyRoutine.pdf
(This document is used and linked by multiple programs because it provides such a beautiful framework and rationale for the HighScope daily routine.)     

References:

(2019). Quality Early Education Through Active Learning. Retrieved from https://highscope.org/

PDF. Ypsilanti, MI. HighScope Educational Research Foundation.

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