Children need the freedom to appreciate the infinite resources of their hands, their eyes, and their ears, the resources of forms, materials, sounds, and colors.
— Loris Malaguzzi


Children have an innate curiosity, sense of wonder and a strong desire to learn. They are very capable of creating their own learning path driven by their interests, their interactions with others and the environment around them.

City Sprouts Preschool’s philosophy is inspired by several theorists and is strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach. Reggio leads us to think of the environment as the “third teacher,” meaning that the environment is designed and planned intentionally to support the children’s learning process. Emergent curriculum is one aspect of this approach where teachers observe the children and develop activities and ideas based on the children’s interests. The curriculum is fluid and changes according to these observations. As teachers, it is our job to scaffold and guide the children rather than direct them.

Nature is a large element used to help the children learn about the world around them. Relationships, both with our natural world, and with our peers, are at the core of the learning process and every interaction is significant. Children should be encouraged to express themselves as they are guided to learn the tools needed to interact with their peers and the environment.

Play is the most valuable aspect in early childhood, as children learn through play. Play facilitates growth in all areas of social, emotional, and physical development, as well as setting a foundation for future academic learning, while encouraging use of a child’s imagination and curiosity.

Every child’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings are valued and they are competent and capable learners. Learning does not take place in a linear line, but rather in a fluid continual process with the help of a creative environment, the ability to explore and collaborate and a strong community.

How It Works at City Sprouts

City Sprouts Preschool provides children many opportunities to explore and challenge themselves while in a safe and nurturing environment. We support each child as their own unique individual, while providing a loving and collaborative community to create strong bonds and friendships with peers and families.

City Sprouts encourages open-ended and self-directed play, giving children the ability to choose what interests them, and go at their own pace with opportunity for many possibilities. The classroom is full of developmentally appropriate activities and projects that are meant to stimulate deeper learning and investigation. With an emphasis on the importance of nature, we provide natural materials both outside and within the classroom, so the children are able to explore their surroundings and make valuable connections with our world.

City Sprouts supports the whole child in all aspects of their development, including offering organic well-balanced meals and snacks, as our bodies need to be well nourished to stay focused and continue to grow. There are many opportunities for the children to explore food through cooking activities in the classroom and with a garden where the children can grow and maintain many different foods and plants. Knowing where our food comes from, and having a connection with the earth are important lessons. These ideas come together to create a foundation for loving our bodies and what we put into them.