At Harrisville Children's Center, love, knowledge, and respect come together for the healthy development of the young child. We offer programs for children 6 weeks to 6 years of age, with full-time and part-time options available.
Due to the great demand for high-quality infant care in the Monadnock Region, the Harrisville Children’s Center opened its Infant Program for babies as young as 6 weeks of age in the fall of 2006. Our warm and peaceful environment allows for up to four babies to be cared for by an experienced and educated infant caregiver.
A major premise behind the care we provide to infants is to allow each child to develop at his/her own pace - the caregivers are not pressured by timetables. The space is safe for free exploration and discovery. The babies are not confined to equipment, such as swings and bouncers, which hinder their free movement. The toys are carefully selected and made from natural materials.
The caregivers are observant and available, yet non-intrusive as the babies work to solve their own problems and learn in their own ways. The infant caregiver focuses on being in the moment with each baby in a calm and thoughtful way. Routine caring activities, such as feeding and diapering, are wonderful opportunities for interaction and connection.
The caregiver explains to the infant what is being done and treats him/her as an active participant rather than as a passive recipient in all interactions. The relationship between the caregiver and each infant is based on mutual trust, honesty, and respect.
TODDLER & PRE-SCHOOL PROGRAM
We believe that young children are concrete learners who learn by doing. They use all of their senses to explore and find out about their environment. They feel a sense of security from pattern, rhythm, and predictability to their days. Young children are looking to the adults in their lives to provide a safe and nurturing environment where they have lots of time for uninterrupted play, to participate in real-life activities, and to simply enjoy being a child.
Main Components of Our Toddler and Preschool Programs:
Play-Based Learning: play initiated by the child lays the foundation for learning and academic success. While children play, they are learning how to interact with others, they are developing their language skills, they are recognizing and solving problems, and they are discovering their own human potential. Play boosts healthy development in all critical areas.
Real-Life Experiences: at least once each week the children will help their teachers to bake bread or muffins, or make another nutritious food to share with the class during the day. Children assist with watering and weeding our vegetable and flower gardens, as well as taking part in every day tasks such as washing dishes, folding laundry, and sweeping the floor. The children learn the importance of helping others and being a valued member of the community.
Outdoor Exploration: the children have opportunities throughout each day to explore, observe, and investigate the natural world with all of their senses. These opportunities include walks through the village, field trips to apple orchards and sheep farms, and outdoor play and gardening on the playgrounds. Rain or shine, snow or heat, the children come prepared each day to spend ample time outdoors.
Storytelling, Songs and Nursery Rhymes: the oral traditions of poetry, fairy tales, song and verse instill a love of language, preparing the child for reading and writing work in elementary school. Rather than structured lessons on learning numbers and the alphabet, we help children develop numerical skills through counting games and rhythmic activities, and develop memory and early literacy skills through the repetition of stories, nursery rhymes and songs. Each morning the toddlers and preschoolers gather with their teachers in the preschool for a Singing Circle. The songs and rhymes chosen for Singing Circle are carefully selected and suit the young child’s inner nature.
Harrisville Children’s Center offers an optional 8-Week Summer Program for toddlers and preschoolers. This program is open to children enrolled in our regular school year programs, as well as children who will only attend our programs in the Summer.
Families may sign up for as few as one or as many as all eight of the one-week sessions. Children may attend 2, 3, or 5 days per week and stay for a half or full day.
Each session is based on a theme, and previous themes have included:
Fairy Tales and Magical Worlds
Foods From Near and Far
Bugs All Around Us
Trees and Other Plants
Creatures Great and Small
The Summer Program includes several field trips to local destinations, swimming lessons for the preschoolers at Harrisville Pond with a licensed water safety instructor, trips to the local library for story time and projects, special celebrations and events, and lots of music, exploration, and art activities. Registration for our Summer Program begins in March of each year for our currently enrolled families and April for new families.
Our daughter thrived at HCC! She developed her "love of learning" from supportive, experienced teachers.
Going back to work after maternity leave is hard, but the staff at Harrisville Children's Center made the transition so much easier for me. I never worried that my little guy was in the best hands, and the level of care and attention he received was amazing. The environment at HCC is nurturing and supportive, couldn't ask for more!
Both my boys entered HCC as beautiful babies and left as happy healthy kids. I can't think of a better place for them to have grown.