Children create meaning and construct knowledge in an engaging learning environment that sparks their sense of curiosity and discovery. Children in the First Steps program have the opportunity to learn and grow individually while exploring cooperative play and interaction with peers. First Steps provides developmentally appropriate experiences, care, and instruction to children and links families to the larger USM school community.
Within the First Steps environment, children learn using materials that are specifically selected for intentional instruction that inspires creativity, new questions, and deepens insight and wonder. Faculty observe, inquire, and adapt teaching methods to strengthen a child’s overall development. While in the program, children, teachers, and families collaborate to embark on these “first steps” of education together.
Children thrive from the comfort of routine while awakening their natural curiosity as they explore and discover within their environment. Our knowledgeable and passionate faculty engage children in experiences that allow them to grow into learners, leaders, and citizens who will make a positive difference in our school community.Program Qualities
- Strengthen language skills
- Negotiate new social situations
- Refine gross motor skills
- Develop fine motor skills
- Encourage independence
- Promote self-help skills
- 3 mornings (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) from 8:15 to 11:15 a.m.
- 5 mornings from 8:15 to 11:15 a.m.
- Open to children who turn three between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.
- Children must be able to use the restroom without the use of pull-ups.
- Children may be assigned to a classroom with children who are enrolled in the Prekindergarten (PK) program.
- Faculty members will work with families to determine appropriate placement and start date of children who enroll in the program.
- First Steps students will participate in a full-year of PK the following year which offers a five full-day option.