Child Development & Education
At Sunshine Academy, we are committed to excellence through careful attention to all aspects of children’s development and education. We understand that children learn more in the first five years of life than at any other time and that families are children’s first teachers. We strive to work together with families to understand each child’s learning style, interests and abilities. We provide a caring, supportive environment that challenges each child to develop at his or her own pace in all aspects of development – social, emotional, cognitive and physical – and that involves families in shaping the program.
At Sunshine Academy, we are committed to professionalism. All of our classrooms are staffed with three full-time teachers so that every single adult who interacts with your child is a trained and licensed professional in the field of early education. We provide in-service training to our teachers throughout the year and support our teachers’ involvement in workshops, seminars, conferences and courses. Our teachers are loving, caring and dedicated people who work with children and parents to create an inviting classroom community.
Parents are welcome in the classroom at any time and are invited to participate in special events throughout the year including our meet-and-greets, Halloween parade, music and art shows, science fairs, literacy events, parent education programs, and classroom celebrations. Parents also serve on our advisory board which helps set policies and plan programs for the school.
Commitment to Every Child
Our approach and our commitment to every child in our care creates an exceptional learning community where every decision, involving curriculum planning, classroom procedures, nutrition, health, parent involvement, and community relationships, is discussed in terms of current research and best practices. We are especially excited about our approach to curriculum, which we believe sets us apart in terms of our attention to each child’s progress from infant through pre-k. Prospective families often ask, for example, why our foreign language program includes infants. We respond that research demonstrates that the earlier a child has significant exposure to the sounds and tones of a foreign language, the easier it is for that child to master the language later in life. Our early music program, too, helps children from infants through pre-k learn rhythm, tone, melody, and even composition using original songs exclusive to Sunshine Academy. Our early math program starts with supporting infants in their explorations of color, pattern, shape, sequence and quantity and proceeds through pre-k explorations of addition, fractions, measurement and number through hands-on learning activiities. In our early science program, we set up opportunities for children to observe, predict, experiment and consider what they learn about the world around them. Our early langauge and literacy programs support native English speakers and non-English speakers to develop proficiency in story telling, conversational turn-taking, and language play.
National Association for the Education of Young Children
Sunshine Academy was the first school in Brookline to receive NAEYC accreditation under the more stringent post-2006 national standards. It is an honor we are proud of and a recognition of all the hard work our teachers and directors do every day to make Sunshine Academy the best early education experience possible.
The NAEYC Accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. As of September 2006, the Association’s revised program standards and criteria have introduced a new level of quality, accountability, and service. The new standards reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. For more information, see www.naeyc.org