About the Harmony Schools Preschool in Princeton
The mission of The Harmony Schools is to provide high quality, comprehensive early childhood programs for children, resulting in peace of mind and satisfaction for their parents. We foster independent, cognitive, and emotional growth for each child by creating nurturing learning environments.
Our program offers a developmental curriculum implemented by dedicated professionals in chronologically age-based classrooms, enhanced by the latest materials and technology. The vehicle for shaping this environment is a participative management team, sensitive to best practices in early childhood research and business.
Our focus has always been, and continues to be, an awareness of the harmony of relationships that are at the center of a superior early childhood program – the child, the parent, and the school.
Planting The Seed for Their Dreams to Grow
There’s something magical about the dreams of children. They’re innocent. Insightful. Uninhibited. And if nurtured properly, those dreams can come true.
At the Harmony Schools, we protect the dreams of children. We encourage their creation, support their formation, and celebrate their realization.
We see dreams as individual potential and do whatever we can to make the most out of what children believe they can do. And we do it in an atmosphere that’s warm, safe, and above all, supportive. Because all a little dream needs to grow is the right environment.
At this stage in your child’s development, forcing facts upon them in the wrong environment can do more harm than good. It can turn a dreamer into a realist far too soon.
So, we make learning fun at our school. We teach valuable lessons through games, music, art, and make-believe. Because we know learning should be a wonderful adventure, not a grueling competition. And for education to take place in the beginning of a young life, it should be as natural and enjoyable as play.
To the untrained eye, our learning centers look more like play areas than places to gain knowledge. Some might see our sand tables as nothing more than a place for a kid to make a mess. But to the fertile young mind, a sand table can be the foundation for a skyscraper or a field for planting next season’s crop of jellybeans.
We believe a child learns best by doing, not by watching something being done. They need to explore and experiment with their own mind and hands at their own pace. And they need the support, guidance, and encouragement of someone who respects them, so they can learn to respect themselves.
We don’t teach children to always have an answer. Instead, we teach them to be motivated to always have another question. The result is a self-confident, naturally curious child who has developed a love for learning. And that will last a lifetime.
- Infants – In our infant classrooms, we follow parent preferences when it comes to each baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule. The ratio of teachers to babies is 1:3, and each baby is assigned to a primary caregiver in order to offer the most personalized service and to ensure that your desired routine is consistently followed. Our caregivers plan developmentally appropriate activities on a daily basis based upon the child’s age and developmental process. Music and movement, story, and circle time are all a part of each day, even with our infants! We also plan small group activities, including art projects and opportunities for various types of sensory exploration for babies who are mature enough to participate.
- Toddlers – The age ranges in our toddler room vary – children can be as young as 18 months and stay until they are almost 3 if this is the best placement for their development. If there is a concentration of children in the younger age range, the ratio is 1:5, it can be 1:6 if children are more mature. The curriculum and schedule are similar to that of a young preschool classroom at Harmony, but activities are shorter and simpler to meet a toddler’s attention span. They are introduced to letter, number, color and shape recognition through their activities and play. The 21st century toddler who has begun to talk often knows how to say the words that represent these concepts, but we help them to realize what the words mean. Outside time twice daily is very popular for not just physical development, but creativity too. Potty training is coordinated between school and home when children show signs of control and interest during their time in the toddler room.
- Preschool – There is some flexibility on when a child enters the preschool group; somewhere between 2.5-3 years of age. A child’s life experience, and their social, academic, and physical development are all factors in determining the appropriate placement for children this age. Pre-writing, pre-math, pre-reading, and pre-science are all components of curriculum, balanced with plenty of play time indoors and outside. Potty training is not required for entry to preschool but should be in progress early on during the child’s early preschool term. Preschoolers participate in “in-house” field trips when special visitors and community helpers come to visit.
- Pre-Kindergarten – Many children begin reading during Pre-K, and everyone leaves having mastered printing of their names and addresses in upper and lower case letters. Often children write sentences and short paragraphs. Math, science, music, and art are daily curriculum components, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor play. Pre-K students take at least four field trips (farm, theater, museum, etc.) on the school bus accompanied by parent and teacher chaperones and present a memorable musical graduation program.
- Kindergarten – Harmony offers a small sized, full day kindergarten program with the extent of our regular hours of operation at no additional cost to parents for before or after care. Kindergarten students’ learning is supported by an interactive whiteboard featuring cross-curriculum linked to New Jersey’s common core standards. We use Handwriting Without Tears to support fine motor development and Singapore Math, with an emphasis on concept development, mental strategies and problem solving. A full day kindergarten gives children the opportunity to have play as part of their day, with plenty of time to advance in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and the arts.
Harmony continues to find the best specialists to supplement our own curriculum. Parents are under no obligation to subscribe to these programs, but they are a time saver if you were already going to enrich your child’s learning by taking them for various lessons and training after hours. They are:
- Amazing Athletes
- Little Rhythms Music
- Soccer Shots
- STEAM Works Studio
Quality You Can Trust
The Harmony School has been awarded with National Accreditation status from NECPA. NECPA accreditation is reserved for exceptional early childhood programs that substantially exceed minimum state licensing requirements. Parents seeking care and education for their young children can use national accreditation as a means of locating the highest quality programs.
This accreditation follows a rigorous process of self-study, surveys of parents and staff, verification by early childhood education/childcare professionals, and a final review by the NECPA Board of Commissioners. During the accreditation process all areas of the school’s program are scrutinized including administration, staff development, the developmental program, outdoor and indoor environments, health and safety, and parent and community relations.
We are continually evaluating our program and environment to be certain that we are meeting the needs of our families. We have obtained the Asthma Friendly Child Care designation and the Eco-Healthy Child Care certification in an effort to create the most comfortable and environmentally friendly atmosphere for our children and teachers. In deference to the increase in severe allergies amongst children in our population, we have implemented a nut-free and egg-free policy.