The guiding philosophy of the Hardin County Schools' Early Childhood Program is that young children learn by being actively involved in their environment through direct sensory experiences, not by formal academic processes. Children of this age develop meaning as a result of concrete experiences where they are encouraged to explore, manipulate, create, dismantle, and reconstruct things in their environment. The Hardin County Schools' Early Childhood Program will provide opportunities for such child-initiated activities and for structured and unstructured play, which is the vehicle for young children's learning, and which enables children to progress along a developmental sequence of growth in all areas: physical, emotional, social and intellectual. Each child will be highly regarded as an individual, and different levels of ability, development and learning styles are expected, accepted and used to plan appropriate activities.
Family involvement is a critical component of the Hardin County Schools' Early Childhood Program. Since parents are a child's most influential teachers, a partnership between family and school will be developed to prepare and assist the family in its role as educator. Communication through home visits, conferences, workshops and newsletters will help meet the child's developmental needs, including health and nutritional needs. Parents are strongly encouraged to visit the classroom and participate in their child's learning.
Teachers and instructional assistants have warm, nurturing and accepting attitudes toward young children and their parents. They understand early childhood development and learning needs and guide children in positive ways. Self-evaluation will be included to continually improve the program.