We utilize the Creative Curriculum and incorporate some aspects of Montessori philosophy and Reggio Emilia pedagogy. Our program balances a child's freedom to work and learn independently, with opportunities to work collaboratively on small group projects.
Our unique curriculum applies the latest theory and research on best practices in teaching and learning, with content standards developed by states and professional organizations. This program balances both teacher-guided and child-initiated learning, with an emphasis on responding to children’s learning styles and building on their strengths and interests. At each stage, our teachers provide the building blocks necessary to build the skills and tools appropriate for your child’s development.
Children have the opportunity to collaborate with other children and learn to negotiate, socialize, come up with their own questions and answers. This combination allows us to offer children both independent, creative, and collective learning in a safe and nurturing environment while building a community between students, teachers and parents who are heard and input ideas and suggestions freely.
Our program draws inspiration from Montessori methods to create a learning environment that supports skill-building and activities in key developmental areas like practical life, sensory exploration, language, and math. The independent, self-paced nature of Montessori encourages self-motivation, trust in personal abilities, and pride in accomplishments.
The Reggio approach, known for its child-centered philosophy, also guides our program design. Reggio Emilia classrooms feature open learning spaces, natural and recycled materials, and engaging resources to spark curiosity. Educators observe the children's interests and facilitate group projects around these topics. This model positions educators as facilitators who shape the curriculum around each child's evolving needs and interests.
We create an immersive learning environment where students naturally acquire Spanish language skills through daily conversational interactions and classroom activities. Our Spanish Immersion program is led by native Spanish-speaking teachers who skillfully challenge each child to develop comprehension, foundational communication skills, and increased spontaneous speech at their own pace. In our Spanish Immersion classrooms, our goal is to help children develop strong proficiency in the Spanish language by using clear visual aids, gestures, facial expressions, rhymes and music.
Our infant program serves children ages 3 to 18 months. The infant teachers establish predictable routines and encourage safe exploration and play for each child. While providing warm, affectionate, and attentive care.
The classroom’s capacity is of 8 children and 2 teachers.
Our toddler program serves children ages 12 - 24 months.
Teachers in this classroom aims to recognize each child's unique qualities and background. The daily curriculum aims to support in problem-solving, social-emotional learning, and life skills through play-based activities.
The classroom's capacity is of 8 children and 2 teachers.
Our preschool program serves children 24 - 60 months.
The teachers offer a wide variety of engaging activities and materials that help children learn and grow, in key academic subject areas, arts, music, cognitive, physical development and more.
The classroom's capacity is of 9 children and 2 teachers.
Semillitas is committed to ensuring children receive proper nutrition during their time at our facility. All children will be provided a meal or snack at least every four hours to support healthy growth and development. While parents are responsible for providing meals, Semillitas will supplement with a nutritious snack. We promote family-style dining to cultivate healthy eating habits.
This is a nut-free facility. Any items containing nuts or nut derivatives are strictly prohibited on premises and will be returned home. This policy aims to ensure a safe environment for all children in our care.
Teachers regularly conduct observations and biannual screenings using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire tool (ASQ) of students to monitor developmental progress and identify potential areas for additional support.
In addition to structured observations and screenings, educators compile longitudinal student portfolios throughout the academic year. Portfolios contain representative work samples.
Understanding each student helps teachers best support each child and give insight to families during scheduled parent-teacher conferences to facilitate collaboration and continuity of goals between home and school.
Semillitas follows the closure and delay policies of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) during periods of inclement weather. In the event DCPS announces a closure or delay due to weather conditions, Semillitas will also close or delay the start of our school day accordingly.
Parents and guardians will be notified of any weather-related closures or delays through Brightwheel and via email. Safety is our top priority, so please check for messages from us during inclement weather situations. We aim to provide as much advance notice as possible to help families plan.
If your child is prescribed medication by a physician, we request that the dosage schedule allows the medication to be administered outside of center hours. It is best practice for the first dose of a newly prescribed medication to be given at home by parents or guardians to monitor for any potential adverse reactions.
Staff are only permitted to receive and administer medication that is accompanied by a completed Medication Authorization Form. These forms can be obtained from the center and must be completed by parents or guardians and signed by the prescribing physician. All medication will be securely stored in classrooms in locked containers.
The goal of any necessary discipline or guidance at our center is to promote the development of lifelong self-control and self-regulation in children. In early childhood education settings, techniques for discipline and guidance take the form of creating a secure, predictable environment that meets each child's developmental needs.
When difficulties do occur, we utilize supportive and equitable discipline techniques, including helping children recognize their behavior, redirection and offering choices for appropriate solutions. Time-outs are not used at Semillitas. Instead, we provide the child with an opportunity to self-soothe in a safe, separate area as needed.
Under legal mandate, employees are obligated to report any suspected incidents of neglect or abuse to the Department of Social Services. Through ongoing monitoring of the children, staff are attentive for indications of mistreatment and lack of care. The organization addresses each potential case discretely, with support from applicable child welfare authorities. The well-being and safety of the children is the top priority in any situation that arises.
Children do not use electronic devices during their time at Semillitas. We believe developing young minds through interactive play, social interaction, and exploration offers greater developmental benefits.