Early Childhood at Bluebird
Our early childhood programs are designed for a range of developmental levels from toddler to preschool / pre-k. Read more about each program below.
Toddler Creative Playgroup
Ages Walking - 3
This caretaker-and-toddler playgroup allows children, alongside their caretaker, to play and explore freely with a variety of toddler-centric sensory, art, and learning materials while socializing together. Occasional storytime or structured activities are sprinkled throughout the semester. Open-ended activities are designed to enhance fine motor development, engage the senses, inspire creativity and spark curiosity.
Littles Learning Lab
Ages 2.5 - 5 (Preschool Ready)
The Littles Learning Lab is a Reggio and Montessori inspired creative learning program for preschool aged children. The focus of this program is on a hands-on, sensory, play-based curriculum using a wide range of materials specially curated to integrate with the learning goals of the day or week. Children explore themes and concepts through learning provocations and invitations to create that are thoughtfully designed and use high quality materials. Through these fun and engaging activities, children develop skills around literacy, mathematics, socialization, gross and fine motor development, creative problem solving, and the arts. Children are supported in building independence and individualized attention is given to each child’s unique strengths, needs, and interests. Our teachers are highly qualified and value the uniqueness of every child. We believe that children of all ages are highly capable and naturally curious. We nurture that curiosity and promote knowledge through creativity in a positive, warm, and energetic environment. Our programs strike a balance between focused learning and open-ended play, between active energy and calming mindfulness. See below for academic year calendar. Scholarships available, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign Up for the
2023-24 School Year
What curriculum do you use?
Our programs are child-led, meaning that we take cues from the children to determine next steps in their experience at Bluebird. We design emergent curriculum based on the individual and collective interests and goals of each unique group of students. “Learning provocations” or “invitations to create” act as springboards to more in-depth study of a subject. We look for ways to integrate traditional academic subjects and the creative arts. For example, a study of a topic such as butterflies could include scientific, mathematical, engineering, historical, and literary elements as well as elements of music, visual art, and movement. We are inspired by the Reggio approach to early childhood education, which is centered on constructivism—the philosophy that learners construct knowledge through experience. In addition, we believe in the importance of laying the foundations of literacy and mathematics at an early age, and this is woven into our daily routines. Social Emotional Learning is central to what Bluebird is all about. We aim to foster each child’s development in the areas of social and interpersonal skills, self regulation, self esteem and confidence, compassion, and citizenship. We also draw upon elements of Waldorf and Montessori approaches to learning, and boxed curricula such as Orton-Gillingam, Words Their Way, TERC Investigations, Singapore Math, and Handwriting Without Tears.
What ages do you accept?
As a general guideline, the early childhood programs are recommended for ages 2.5-5. Our programs are multi-age, and our curriculum is designed to meet each student where they are. Your child's learning plan is individualized based on their strengths, goals, and interests. Therefore placement in a program is determined by the educator and parent as a team, and based on the child's readiness and approach to learning/play rather than on their age alone.
Are there any discounts?
We offer a 10% sibling discount and financial need scholarships. To set up a sibling discount or to inquire about a scholarship, contact email@example.com.
Does my child have to be potty trained?
We welcome potty trained children as well as those in the process of potty training (i.e. familiar with the concept and have practiced potty time), whether they are currently in diapers or have graduated from diapers. We support potty training in the studio by checking in with the child frequently about their needs, and facilitating routine bathroom breaks. We recommend at least one full change of clothes be kept in the child’s backpack in case of an accident.
Will your programs prepare my child for kindergarten?
Yes! Beyond all the curriculum points discussed above, we provide a structured schedule and kindergarten-like routines for each day. We guide children in navigating the classroom environment, making choices, nurturing friendships, communicating, advocating for themselves, building independence, and practicing the skills that will set them up for a successful transition to school.
Who teaches the programs?
Bluebird founder Jessi Almstead, M.Ed. is the primary teacher and teacher supervisor for our early childhood programs. Ellison Strosser co-teaches the Littles Learning Lab program. All of our teachers and assistants are required to have all child work clearances, including FBI fingerprinting, child abuse background checks, and criminal history checks. They are child CPR/First Aid certified, vaccinated against covid, and have a background in either education, childcare, or the arts.