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 1 - 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 (mornings, afternoons, or full days)
Ages 2.5 - 5 (Preschool Ready)
The Littles Learning Lab is a Reggio-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. Your schedule is customizable for the entire academic year--sign up for the days per week that work for you for each term, and choose between mornings, afternoons, or full days. See below for academic year term breakdown. If you are interested in a financial need scholarship, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2022-23 Academic Calendar
Registered students are guaranteed a spot in the following term up until 20 days before the following term begins. There is no contract, therefore families have the flexibility to take terms off if they choose, or change their weekly schedule as needed. Registration and secure billing are done online through Sawyer. Have questions? Get in touch: email@example.com
Fall Term 1
Oct 3 - Nov 11
Full Days 9am-3pm
Fall Term 2
Nov 14 - Dec 22
(No classes Nov 23-25)
Full Days 9am-3pm
Jan 3 - Feb 27
Full Days 9am-3pm
Spring Term 1
Feb 28 - Apr 21
Full Days 9am-3pm
Spring Term 2
Apr 24 - Jun 5
(No classes May 29)
Full Days 9am-3pm
Is masking mandatory?
No. Beginning in the fall, we are employing a mask-optional policy. If you prefer your child be masked, we will support them fully, with outdoor mask breaks and mask reminders when needed.
Can I mix morning and afternoons?
Yes! Your schedule is customizable to work for you and your child. Feel free to mix mornings and afternoons. If you want to move your child to a different day of the week or to a different time slot, just let us know! We are able to make schedule changes as needed.
Are drop-ins allowed?
Yes, you can register as a 'drop-in' to any early childhood class, full day, morning, or afternoon. To register for drop-ins, choose the 'drop-in' option on the registration page of the group you are interested in. For example, if the date you want to sign up for falls on a Monday and you want to sign up for the afternoon, choose the 'Monday Afternoons' group in the term the date falls on and choose the specific date under the drop-in option. Do this for each desired date's day-of-the-week and time slot, and add them to your cart. Alternatively, you can contact us with dates and times that you choose and we will take care of the registration.
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 inquire about a scholarship, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. 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.