The YWCA Central Massachusetts Early Education and Care program utilizes Teaching Strategies GOLD curriculum, a developmentally appropriate practice that focuses on each child’s individual needs and interests. Teaching Strategies GOLD aligns with the Massachusetts Preschool Guidelines and Standards.

Infant & Toddler Curriculum
The infant and toddler programs at both locations use a purchased comprehensive developmentally appropriate curriculum Teaching Strategies GOLD. This curriculum includes goals and objectives that show teachers where they need to go and how to get there in the areas of social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development. Teachers plan individual and group activities that focus on the different domains in the classroom. The curriculum has five components; knowing infants, toddlers and twos; creating a responsive environment; what children are learning; caring and teaching; and partnering with families. These components help teachers make good decisions about routines and experiences provided for infants, toddlers, and twos.

Through child observation and assessment, a teacher can identify needs and plan for each child’s interests and abilities in their group. Teachers plan intentional, appropriate activities and experiences to meet each child’s goals and objectives. Teaching Strategies GOLD shows the typical sequence of development for each objective. Teachers plan individual weekly curriculum for infants and weekly group curriculum for toddlers. The curriculum is integrated into each classroom and meets the needs of diverse learners.

Preschool Curriculum
Preschool classrooms use Creative Curriculum for and Teaching Strategies GOLD to plan learning experiences that support the social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and language development. Both curricula align with implementing the Massachusetts Preschool Guidelines and Standards.

Teaching Strategies GOLD child assessments allows the teacher to identify and plan a curriculum providing intentional activities and experiences that meet the interests and abilities of each child including those with disabilities. Because the curriculum is developmentally based, it provides a useful framework for assessing where children are on a continuum and for meeting individual needs which may require re-organizing the physical environment to promote learning, knowing the child’s learning style, or adjusting the daily schedule. The curriculum, which is theme-based, is planned weekly and teachers indicate the link to the state preschool guidelines and standards on each activity.

In the pre-K classrooms, teachers use Second Step with children who have challenging behaviors. This is a violence prevention curriculum that promotes positive reinforcement. The curriculum teaches children to respect classroom rules such as, sitting quietly and raising their hand at circle time and provides appropriate ways for children to identify and express their emotions.  Once your child has been enrolled in the program for one month, a screening tool, Ages and Stages, will be completed.

Teaching Strategies GOLD developmental assessments are completed every three months. Parents will receive a paper version of their child’s development. Assessments are available online for preschool parents to access their child’s portfolio with an online access number.

One month prior to your child’s quarterly assessment, parents will receive communications notifying you of the upcoming assessment. This notification also provides parents with the opportunity to update staff on their child’s development as well as any goals you may have for your child over the next three months. Once assessments are completed, a copy of the report will be filed in the center’s records and parents will receive another copy. We suggest scheduling a Parent/Teacher conference at this time.

Swimming Component
The YWCA’s central location in Worcester has a large, heated indoor pool that is staffed by experienced swimming instructors and lifeguards. Every child enrolled in the Worcester Child Care Center preschool program participates in a weekly 30-minute swim lesson, conducted by certified Red Cross Water Safety Instructors. The class is designed to give your child basic water skills and/or confidence in the water.

Please bring these items to school on your child’s swim day in a cloth bag or back pack, and take them home for laundering that evening:

  • Towel (please label with child’s name)
  • Bathing suit and sandals to wear in the pool area
  • Bathing cap (can be purchased at YWCA front desk)