Our Lakeview East childcare center serves children between the ages of 6 weeks to 6 years. Our program is divided by age into four classrooms; Cabooses (Infants), Boxcars (Toddlers), Hoppers (Older Toddlers), and Locomotives (Preschoolers.) We spend time in individual classrooms while our children learn through play-based experiences, guided group activities, and everyday events.
Cabooses (Infants 6 weeks to 18 months)
Cabooses are along for the ride. They sit back at the end of the train and soak in the view. Likewise, our babies soak in their rich surroundings as their minds rapidly grow and develop before our eyes. They are constantly learning about the world around them, and our enriched environment, filled with developmentally appropriate activities and older children to learn from, set them up for success.
Our Caboose classroom is set up for eleven babies and three teachers, keeping our ratio low. The Infants at our Lakeview East Childcare Center enjoy listening to stories and songs as well as participating in early crafts and sensory explorations. Children are exposed to various cultures and languages. Our infants have many opportunities to interact with our toddlers as well. The teachers help our youngest friends with developmentally-appropriate activities during these early years including tummy time and practice with sitting and standing. Our mobile friends have safe surroundings while they explore the world around them. Our goal is to give them an enriching infant daycare environment that closely matches their daily routine at home as they transition into childcare and a more structured routine as they grow.
Boxcars (Toddlers 18 months to 35 months)
Boxcars are filled with freight inside of closed off corridors. Similarly, our Toddlers are busy filling their minds up with everything they hear, see, and feel. Their knowledge collection comes from both observation and exploration as they are busy at play.
Our Boxcar classroom is made up of twelve children and three designated teachers. The environment is filled with friends who are busy exploring the surroundings, and we fill the space around them with activities and toys that will allow them to grow and flourish. They enjoy listening to stories, and begin to take part in musical exploration with instruments and songs. They get to know their bodies and how they work through creative movement and dance. They partake in sensory and cultural experiences, early arts, manipulatives, and dramatic play. One of the favorite activities among our toddlers is playing with our older children, the Hoppers and Locomotives. They love to learn from their older friends and peek into the things they’ll be capable of in just a few short years.
Hoppers (Two's 2.5 years to 4 years)
Hoppers carry freight with helpful, unloading doors. Their tops are uncovered so their contents are clear. Our older toddlers continue to collect and carry knowledge of the world around them, but they are eager to help out and share the information they are collecting as well.
Our Hoppers classroom is made up of 15 children and 2 designated early childhood teachers. When our friends reach the Hopper age, they really start to join in on our programming. They start to truly understand and look forward to group activities including story time, music, daily crafts, and dramatic play. They love sensory experiences, and especially enjoy spending time with the Locomotives. Luckily, our Hoppers and Locomotives share a wing of the center and combine for activities and play time often. They begin to have a deeper academic focus while learning about colors, letters, numbers, the calendar, and the world around them. They are introduced to different cultures from around the world and various languages, including English, Spanish, and Serbian. In our toddler daycare, our Hoppers also begin to master social manners and personal hygiene practices including potty training, taking turns, self-help, using words, respecting elders, and overall independence.
Locomotives (Preschoolers 4 to 6 years)
Locomotives are the leaders of the train, just as our preschoolers are leaders in our program. Our preschoolers not only take part in activities themselves, they are excited to help the younger children throughout the day as well. They participate in a play-based curriculum filled with dramatic play, sensory exploration, manipulatives, science experiments, daily group crafts, and individual art practice opportunities. They enjoy playing their role in story time and singing along with their teachers during music time. They are exposed to many cultures as well as three different languages; English, Spanish, and Serbian.
In this Chicago junior preschool program, our children gain a new academic focus through their play. They master skills in letter names and sounds, numbers, and counting. They strengthen fine and gross motor skills through a variety of activities and games. They have detailed dramatic play experiences and master calendar terms and meanings, including the days of the week, the months of the year, and weather terminology. They fine-tune their independence skills and manners. Our Locomotives are excellent at learning and having fun at the same time.