St. Andrew Learning Center is a valued ministry of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). As a congregation, St Andrew strives to create a place of grace in the world through ministry and mission work. We are weaving a fabric of care throughout our congregation ministries and the community by embodying our core values of God Care, Earth Care, Self Care, Community Care, and Neighbor Care in our programs.
The Learning Center provides a five-day per week, full-year program of education and care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Our children range in age from 6 weeks to 5 years.
St. Andrew Learning Center is an integral part of the mission of St. Andrew Lutheran Church. Our program has been created to provide high quality childhood education and care for the diverse needs of our community.
To achieve this mission, the Learning Center:
- Respects each child as a unique gift from God,
- Provides a child-centered, play-based learning environment,
- Embraces research-based best practices in childhood care and education,
- Invites diversity in staffing and enrollment practices.
We accomplish this by:
- Establishing a foundation of positive relationships among children, staff, and families,
- Planning our curriculum, activities, and interactions around the core values of St Andrew Lutheran Church and research-based best practices in childhood care and education,
- Providing opportunities for children, teachers, and families to learn and grow together in a safe, nurturing environment that appreciates differences in cultures, ethnicities, languages, economic situations, abilities, sexual orientation and gender identity,
- Maintaining high standards for qualifications, experiences, and continuing education of staff. Our director and teachers are highly qualified educators with relevant education and experience. They increase their knowledge through ongoing training and education. They are committed to providing best practices for each child in our program, as reflected in current theories and research.
At St. Andrew Learning Center our philosophy and pedagogical approach is rooted in child development theory and practice. Guided by the goals and objectives of Creative Curriculum®™ by Teaching Strategies, we plan our learning environments, curriculum and activities to support the development of the whole child.
Our play-based philosophy reflects our belief that children learn through play and developmentally appropriate activities as they develop skills for school and life. Our approach emphasizes child-initiated activities and inquiries. Through constructive and purposeful play, both indoors and outdoors, children gain competence and develop their social-emotional, physical, language, and cognitive growth. Through the use of appropriate in-depth studies, the teachers and children investigate topics that support children’s development of skills and concepts in literacy, math, science, social studies, and the arts.
We foster spiritual development and faith formation by providing a loving, caring environment that values each child as a unique gift from God. Children participate in developmentally appropriate activities of joyful music, prayer, and stories, rooted in Christianity.
We value loving, positive relationships between teachers and children that respect differences and provide a critical foundation for successful learning.
We value children for their:
- motivation to learn through play,
- ability to do meaningful work
- wonder and curiosity.
We value families for their:
- bonds and traditions,
- commitment to work, home, and community,
- dreams for their children.
We value staff for their:
- delight in children,
- skill, education and knowledge,
- commitment to children’s families and to the congregation of St Andrew Lutheran Church.
As a ministry of St Andrew Lutheran Church, we strive to be a loving community of faith that welcomes all without exception, regardless of ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, education, income or family status. We seek to create bridges between the congregation and the Learning Center.
Our Goals for Children
We commit to supporting each child to:
- Have a confident sense of self and an understanding of diversity in the world;
- Develop curiosity, a sense of wonder, and a life-long love of learning;
- Be a respectful and competent friend, community-member, and citizen;
- Value differences.
Our Goals for Families
We support families in the care and education of their children as we:
- Develop partnerships that demonstrate respect for the beliefs and culture;
- Advocate for the best interests of all children and the St. Andrew community as a whole;
- Build trusting relationships that develop open and honest communication;
- Invite families to participate in the curriculum and center activities by;
- Sharing their resources, ideas, knowledge, and culture,
- Participating monthly to advise the director on policies and practices,
- Welcoming and promoting communication,
- Sharing, through a yearly survey, their degree of satisfaction with the program and ideas for improvement.
Our Goals for Teachers and Staff
We strive to support each staff member by providing:
- Professional development which is ongoing, intentional, and reflective;
- An environment which welcomes open dialogue, hearing others’ perspectives, and cultural differences;
- Time to collaborate, assess learning environments, document experiences, and teach from the heart.
The St. Andrew Learning Center does not discriminate in matters of enrolment, administration, scholarship or participation. We welcome religious diversity in our programs and invite families of all faith traditions to share with us their important traditions, customs and cultural life.