Mission & Philosophy

In collaboration with children, parents, and the greater community, Desert Spring Children’s Center will offer an outstanding and comprehensive early childhood program.

We will:

  • Offer opportunities for children to collaborate in an environment that is welcoming, beautiful, engaging, reflective of our geography and local culture, and is conductive to the creation of wholesome, democratic, social relationships.
  • Provide space, time, and opportunities for meaningful play that is based on children’s individual interests and learning questions; and that will build important foundations for future academic and community engagement.
  • Provide experiences for children that are inclusive of all abilities, cultures, ethnicities, genders and gender identities, which are reflective of our belief in the competent child.
  • Meaningfully and purposefully document children’s learning in order that children see value in their explorations and learn from their own and each other’s processes. And, as an act of advocacy, children’s competency is made visible to educators, families, colleagues, policy makers, and the wider community.

We Believe Every Child:

  • Is a capable and competent being.
  • Is a unique and complex learner.
  • Is deserving of an environment that nurtures the whole child.
  • Learns through child-initiated, child-directed, educator-supported play.
  • Is a social being who learns through the development of relationships and collaboration with peers and adults.
  • Is by nature a creative and curious researcher and learns best through hands-on exploration that is relevant to his or her experiences.
  • Deserves trust, respect, and meaningful relationships to facilitate confidence and healthy risk-taking.
  • Is a subject of rights, a whole citizen from birth, worthy of citizenship in the world.
  • Possesses hundred of languages with which to describe their beliefs and experiences, and with which to express their learning.

Hopes for Children, Families & the Community

  • All children will experience growth and learning in all areas of development, including cognitive, physical, and social-emotional arenas.
  • All families will be supported in their role as the primary caregivers and educators of children.
  • The community will become progressively more aware of the importance of childhood and the need for high-quality early education.

Expected Outcomes:

When children leave our program, they can:

  • Participate as a member of an interdependent community.
  • Care for themselves, others, and the community.
  • Treat others with love and compassion.
  • Cooperate with other children to accomplish group goals
  • Celebrate group accomplishments.
  • Laugh and play with a tangible sense of joy.
  • Express the range of human emotion through the symbolic languages of music, building, drawing, and dance — in addition to the hundreds and hundreds of possible languages.
  • Be inquisitive.
  • Initiate new ideas and invent solutions to problems.
  • Stick to a variety of tasks or come back to them in order to reach completion.
  • Run, hit, catch, throw, kick, tumble, hang, climb, balance, ride, and swing.
  • Sing and dance with exuberance.
  • Paint, draw, sculpt, and construct objects of beauty.
  • Maintain the community’s spaces in cleanliness and order.
  • Greet guests with courtesy and charm.

When families leave our program, they can:

  • Be confident in their ability to advocate for their children.
  • See their children as competent learners and capable of being proactive members of a learning community.

*Based on Tom Drummond’s 15 Capabilities for Children