Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Philosophy

Cornerstone’s Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten programs are developmentally appropriate and geared to each child’s stage of learning. We provide a hands-on, supportive, non-stressful, non-competitive, nonsexist environment for active learning.

Our educational emphasis reflects all eight domains of child development: Cognition, Social and Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Creative Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Development and Health. 
We believe children learn best when they are active participants and provide ample opportunities to develop fine and gross motor, social, self-esteem and problem solving skills.

We aim to foster a love of learning in all its dimensions for learning's own sake. We are convinced that children who love to learn will enjoy success at academic skill building throughout their formal education.


Our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten curriculum combines the developmental goals of the Connecticut Early Learning and Developmental Standards (CTELDS) with the practices of The Creative Curriculum to develop the whole child. 

Our year-round programing is enriched with hands-on learning experiences. September to June we explore the world around us through monthly themes and follow a biweekly format during Summer Camp
Each theme is designed to spark the children’s curiosity, encourage questioning, reasoning and experimentation. We focus on seasonal concepts, life experiences and events; engage in projects, schedule special guests and host a myriad of celebrations to help us impart a sense of cultural diversity, community and perspective to the experiences of our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarteners.

"Centers" within the Center allow children to explore creative arts, drama, music and movement, storytelling, social studies, science and math in the natural world. 

We reinforce the development of life skills as we encourage each child to do as much as they can for themselves ie: put on and zip up a jacket, pouring milk, using manners, washing hands at appropriate times, and demonstrating respect for others and property.  

Learning continues in our outdoor classrooms. Our spacious and private, fun in the sun playground allows us to facilitate activities and observe the children interact as they run, bike, swing, climb, race, catch and throw, observe and chart changes in the environment, dig for worms, play organized games, enact stories, tend to their garden, blow and chase bubbles or lie down and watch clouds go by. In case of inclement weather we enjoy outdoor activities in our canopied playground which runs the entire length of our building. 

Lesson plans detailing the daily activities are posted in each classroom.


Preschool is a transitional age. Typically young threes see the world in terms of having their needs met. As they mature, they recognize others have needs and rights. We support our Preschoolers transition into this new dimension of awareness by modeling and reinforcing respect, responsibility and safety as common practice.  

Preschoolers’ natural curiosity excites us! They use their whole body to learn; consequently, we introduce new concepts to your child utilizing auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic approaches. We purposefully intersperse “quiet” activities with movement activities and recognize the value of going outside regularly. In warmer months, indoor activities continue in our outdoor classroom.  


Typically four year olds are ready to test their effect on the world. We guide your child through this next stage of learning, setting our expectations higher as they discover their new found abilities and independence. We model and reinforce acceptable behavior as they experiment with the power of language in all forms.    

Pre-Kindergarten is a time of questioning, reasoning and understanding. We focus on family, writing names, math, growing a garden from seed, how to illustrate and write stories, purchase goods from local stores, discuss occupations and visit with community helpers. 

 A Typical Day in Preschool  & Pre-Kindergarten

Our Preschool & Pre-K Programs reflect the individual needs and interests of the children.  The daily activities remain flexible to meet their needs. Children of this age depend on regular routines to give them a sense of security and control by knowing what comes next.  Therefore, set times for learning, eating, sleeping, and indoor and outdoor play are important.  All activities are planned in accordance to the developmental levels of each child and incorporate the CT Early Learning Developmental Guidelines.  Our laboratory of learning involves the use of indoor and outdoor space.

  6:30- Welcome! It is going to be a great day! Greetings exchanged, 
            information to help us meet your child’s needs is shared, nutritional
            breakfast foods from home consumed, centers and activities of interest
            are open for exploration. 
  7:30- Stories and songs shared, child selected activities available to discover   
  8:00- Teacher selected activities/manipulatives introduced, “breakfast” ends
  9:00- Snack: Nutritious food is served, language, social and self-help skills are
            reinforced. see menu
  9:30- Group Time: This teacher directed, group meeting jump starts our day of  
            learning. The curriculum focus is introduced using visual and tactile
            aids, books are read to introduce or expand upon a topic, events in our
            lives shared and creative experiences, science, dramatic play, math and   
            manipulative activities are explained
  9:45- Music and Movement experiences are added                                                          
10:00- Individual/Small Group Time: allows the teacher to connect with each  
            child and develop a better understanding of their progress and needs  
            while alternate planned activities are open for exploration.
10:45- Story Time before clean-up begins, use bathroom, prepare for outdoors
10:55- Outdoor Time: Child and teacher initiated activities ensue ie: observe
            and record changes in the environment, relay races, blow and chase   
            bubbles, swing, climb, dig, ride tricycles, play shadow tag or hopscotch,  
            enact stories, go on a nature scavenger hunt or gaze at shapes and
            figures we see in the clouds.  
11:55- Prepare for lunch (use of bathroom, wash hands, drink water, set table)
12:00- Family Style Lunch: Focus on food origin, color shape, size, texture, 
           food groups, healthy portion sizes, self help skills and manners.
12:30- Prepare for rest: personal items retrieved, bathroom time, soothing
            music plays as we cover the children with their blankets from home
  2:30- Refreshed from rest, the children put on their shoes, use the bathroom, 
            put away naptime items and have library time as they engage in
  3:00- Snack: Nutritious food is served, language, social and self-help skills     
            are enhanced. see menu
  3:30- Outdoor Time: The possibilities are endless!
  4:30- Children use the bathroom, wash hands and faces and get a drink from      
            our water fountain before selecting a book to read
  4:45- Story and Group Time: A follow up to our earlier meeting to determine  
            and reinforce comprehension
  5:00- Music and Movement: experiences are added as alternate choices                                                         
  5:30- Clean up begins, story is offered as children prepare to go outdoors (as   
            daylight permits) or alternate child chosen activities are introduced,   
            information shared
  6:00- Engage in conversation as we share a light snack
  6:30- The Center is closed. Have a wonderful evening!                       
When you arrive at the Center to pick up, take a moment to check your child's mailbox for notices, a daily note describing your child day and artwork. You are welcome to join your child’s activity before heading home.

Group Organization

Per State Regulations: children over the age of 3 years old are limited to 20 children in any one group between the ages of 36 and 60 months. The Head Teacher has overall responsibility for program and supervision. A group of 20 can be divided into 2 subgroups of up to 10 children each. Each subgroup is led by the Head Teacher or Teacher with an Associate Teacher, Assistant Teacher or Teacher's Aide, sufficient to maintain the ratio of adult to child at one to ten or better.