Clayton serves children from birth to age 5, and offers prenatal services.
The benefits of prenatal care, especially in the first trimester, have been repeatedly documented. Women who receive a full course of care stand a much better chance of delivering healthy, full-term, normal-weight babies than women who do not.
More than physical health is at stake during the prenatal period. An infant’s capacity for learning is tied to brain development in utero. Clayton offers activities to promote positive outcomes for pregnant women and their infants through weekly home visits and services during pregnancy and post-partum. Each mother works with a Child Family Educator to create an individualized plan for services. Weekly home visits provide an opportunity to receive support and information about the mother’s baby and her pregnancy. A Child Family Educator and a visiting registered nurse provide materials, free community resources and fascinating facts about each stage of pregnancy. The program’s health team works closely with expectant mothers to make sure their medical records are up-to-date and that they have a continuous source of health care throughout their pregnancies, the babies’ births and beyond. Enroll in our prenatal program.
Using developmentally-appropriate practices informed by research and evidence, our teams interact with, teach and nurture the youngest of our children. The developmentally-appropriate practices used in both classrooms and the home are based on the Learning through Relating curriculum. This approach, which is relationship and exploration based, provides concrete guidance for teachers and parents to ensure all children's developmental needs are being met. This curriculum aims to accomplish the following goals.
Each infant or child is:
- Supported to develop trust, autonomy, and initiative
- Encouraged and stimulated in all aspects of development, including social/emotional, communication, problem-solving, small and large motor skills, and health and nutrition
- Nurtured to develop a positive sense of self through the support of the child’s family, including acceptance of and respect for diverse cultural and family backgrounds
- Encouraged to interact with people and materials in a responsive, stimulating environment in order to develop confidence, curiosity and resilience in relating to her or his world
- Supported to develop self-regulation skills that ensure smoother transitions at times such as arrival, lunch, and pick-up
Preschool is a magical time, filled with learning, growing and exploring. Clayton helps our preschoolers thrive by focusing on developing school readiness skills and empowering parents as their child’s first teacher.
Our preschool work focuses on visual and auditory discrimination, spatial perception, story comprehension and memory, language and literacy concepts, social/emotional development, eye/hand coordination, and beginning math concepts. In addition, we work with the children and their families in the areas of health, nutrition, social-emotional development, creative arts, and science. Additional group socialization and field trip learning experiences are provided for the children.
Our preschool families have two options for their children: center-based care or home-based care. Both are exemplary programs designed to help children and their families prepare for kindergarten and beyond.
Our school-based program at Clayton implements the Creative Curriculum, which is rooted in educational philosophy and theory as well as practice. Building on Erik Erikson’s stages of social/emotional development, Jean Piaget’s theories of how children think and learn, key principles of physical development and with an appreciation of cultural influences, our program meets the needs of every child in our care. Preschoolers spend their day learning by interacting with teachers and other children with books, toys and learning materials. Interest areas offer exciting opportunities to explore, discover and grow. The engaging spaces found in a preschool room include: blocks, dramatic play, art, writing, science and discovery, and music and movement. In addition, preschoolers and their classmates work with their teachers on in-depth, longer-term studies and projects that foster their life-long love of learning and exploration.
The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program is designed to empower parents as preschoolers’ first teachers. It focuses on the development of children's school readiness skills using a literacy- and activity-based curriculum delivered at home. Children receive physical, social and intellectual stimulation through the use of 30 weekly curriculum packets, home visits, and socializations. The program also provides enrichment activities that the Child Family Educator (CFE) demonstrates with the parent during a weekly 90-minute home visit. These activities are used to individualize the curriculum to each child's developmental level. Parents and CFEs work closely together to develop quality family partnership plans that reflect the family's efforts towards achieving measurable and observable goals. All activities, from the monthly children's group socializations to field trips to parent meetings, are integrated with the curriculum. Families receive comprehensive services in health, mental health, education, family support and accessing community resources.
The work of the Clayton HIPPY program continues through the generous support of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, Tony Grampsas Youth Services funding and AmeriCorps.