The Sheltering Arms is a nonprofit organization providing early education and child care to working mixed-income families. The organization has 14 centers located in five counties in and around Atlanta, Georgia. The organization provides high-quality care for children from six weeks to five years old, as well as STEAM-focused summer enrichment program. Sheltering Arms offers Head Start, Early Head Start and Georgia Pre-K programs. Sheltering Arms centers serve 2,400 children daily.
In partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Sheltering Arms’ Educare Atlanta Center is one of the nation’s most innovative school readiness programs.Learn more
As a Head Start grantee for nearly 20 years, Sheltering Arms offers a full-day, full-year schedule as well as blended classrooms that integrate children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.Learn more
EARLY EDUCATION OVERVIEW
Positive, Play-Based Learning
Sheltering Arms customizes The Creative Curriculum, a comprehensive early learning program to build children’s confidence, creativity and critical thinking skills. A living curriculum, taught by qualified teachers, is rooted in child development theory and based in the well-researched idea that play is essential to healthy growth.
38 research-based objectives make up the heart of the curriculum and guides the work of our teachers with the children in their classrooms. The objectives, predictors of school readiness, are aligned with the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS) and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.
Our programs serve:
- Infants, Toddlers and Twos – Children from birth to age 3
- Preschool – Children age 3
- Pre-K – Children age 4, on or before September 1
Education for All
Open, inclusive and diverse, our curriculum gives teachers the tools to work with all types of learners, from English and dual-language students to advanced learners and children with disabilities. Our goal is to help every child reach their full potential.
- Adults form the foundation. Successful learning is built on a foundation of securing relationships with caring adults who engage in meaningful, positive interactions with children.
- Connection is the key. Making friends and connecting with classmates is a big part of success at school.
- A child’s work is to play. We support the development of the whole child by capturing their interests and maximizing their capabilities through constructive, purposeful play. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) agrees.
- Space and place are important. The physical space we provide is designed with intention and purpose. The learning environment is intended to serve as an invitation to investigate and to inspire the joy of discovery and life-long learning.
- Learning is a partnership, a close collaboration between teachers and families that forms a full-circle of growth and learning.
Practice & Policy
All children are given the opportunity to rest or nap between 12:00 and 2:00 every day based on their age. Cots and blankets are provided. Our infants nap on their own individual schedules.
Outdoor play is as important as indoor play. Our schedule allows for our children, ages 1-4 to spend at least 1 ½ hours per day outside, weather permitting. For our infants, we schedule at least 1 hour per day. We monitor recommendations based on the Clean Air Campaign’s color-coded air quality reports: We do not go outside on Code Red days, but may go out for a short time on Code Orange days.
Positive Guidance and Discipline
We believe a positive environment with clear, consistent expectations is the best way to teach our children how to live well in the world. We use active supervision, positive reinforcement, social skills instruction, and acting in a fair and honest way with all children — to define, teach and strengthen appropriate behavior and self-regulation.
Biting happens, especially among our toddlers, who are learning how to communicate effectively. Prevention is the key, but if your child is bitten or bites another child, our teachers will respond appropriately to both children and parents will be notified. Biting incidents are confidential.
Bathroom Training & Healthy Body Awareness
We use correct names for body parts and bodily functions with all our children and teach the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch” as appropriate, based on age.
Children are regularly assessed by our teachers using the Teaching Strategies GOLD® ongoing observational assessment tool. It is aligned to state and national early learning educational standards and helps teachers identify and track the skill levels of each child throughout the year. We share a developmental assessment report two times per year with parents, and plan with parents so children can reach desired goals.