Nido Program: The Nido program is designed for infants approximately 6 weeks to 12 months of age. Infants are cared for in a calm and comforting environment. A variety of developmental opportunities are available to the children in the room, including colorful surroundings and toys, recorded music, and story time with songs and conversation provided by the child’s caregivers. Teachers in the Nido program are expected to be on the floor interacting with children and children are allowed free range of the classroom. Teachers find creative and engaging ways for children to learn about their environment through experience. Some of the engagement opportunities include finger paint, exploration in the room, finger plays, and action songs. The infant to teacher ratio in this room is 1 to 4. Our Nido room is designed to accommodate up to 12 infants cared for by 3 teachers.
Bambino (9 to 18 mo)
Bambino Program: The Bambino program is designed for infants and toddlers approximately 9 to 18 months of age. When an infant reaches a high level of mobility and is eating table foods from our menu, they will move from the Nido program into the Bambino program. The Bambino program provides an environment designed to assist the child in their transition from the infant stage to the toddler stage. Children are assisted in transitioning from cribs to cots, from high chairs to group meals at a table, and from crawling to standing and walking without assistance. Once again, teachers are expected to interact with children on the floor and a toddler will spend their day exploring and experiencing their environment through creative ways. The children in the Bambino room are provided opportunities to gain awareness of colors, textures, sounds, their feelings and the feelings of others. As a toddler progresses in their development, they pursue their quest for independence and develop their sense of awareness of their surroundings. Before graduating to the Toddler Sud program, children are able to sleep on a cot, walk with confidence, use a cup, and be weaned from bottles. The infant and toddler to teacher ratio in this room is 1 to 4. The Bambino room is designed to accommodate up to 24 children; however, enrollment is capped at 16 infants and toddlers cared for by 4 teachers.
Toddler Sud (18 to 30 mo)
Toddler Sud Program: The Toddler Sud program is designed for toddlers approximately 18 to 30 months of age. Teachers in the Toddler Sud program guide the children individually in developmentally appropriate activities in a structured classroom environment and provide a safe and protective environment so that children can explore and develop new skills and abilities. Children learn practical skills that help them begin to care for themselves and develop more independence. Children are encouraged and guided in activities such as toilet training, dressing, hand washing, and eating family-style. Children in the Toddler Sud program participate in art, music, finger painting, sand play, water play, exercise, and imaginative play which assists children in developing fine and gross motor skills, vocabulary, and speech skills. The toddler to teacher ratio in this room is 1 to 4 for children under 2 years of age and the toddler to teacher ratio is 1 to 6 for children over 2 years of age. The Toddler Sud room is designed to accommodate up to 20 toddlers cared for by 4 teachers.
Toddler Nord (2 ½ to 3 ½ yrs)
Toddler Nord Program: The Toddler Nord program is designed for children approximately 2 ½ to 3 ½ years of age. Teachers in the Toddler Nord program continue building upon skills introduced in the Toddler Nord program to prepare children for their progression into the preschool program. Learning goals for the graduates of the Toddler Nord program include: recognizing colors and shapes, recognizing the child’s written name, learning to recognize letters in the alphabet, counting up to 10, participating in small group activities and group practical life skills, basic scissor skills, and fine motor and pre-writing skills. Children in the Toddler Nord program are expected to progress into wearing underwear and mostly independent in toileting, except during nap time, before graduating to the Pre-Primary program. The toddler to teacher ratio in this room is 1 to 6 for children 2 years of age and 1 to 8 for children 3 years of age. The Toddler Nord room is designed to accommodate up to 24 toddlers cared for by 4 teachers.
Pre-Primary East and West (3 ½ to 6 yrs)
Pre-Primary Program: The Pre-Primary program is designed for preschool children approximately 3 ½ to 6 years old. The Pre-Primary program curriculum is designed for children to obtain kindergarten readiness skills, such as letter and number recognition, independent toileting practices, use scissors, hold a writing utensil, strong fine motor skills, cooperative play, and sitting and focusing on a task. The Pre-Primary preschool program provides individualized activities and organized group activities based on the teacher’s assessment of a child’s individual educational development needs. The program expands on a child’s previous experiences through centers that develop early stages of writing, science, arithmetic, geography, measurement, and reading skills. Other activities encourage self expression and creativity through music, art, dance, organized group games, singing, rhythm band, food preparation, and storytelling. Learning to share, help, and respect others is emphasized. Additional self help skills, such as tying shoes, buttoning, and zipping, are introduced to encourage developmentally appropriate independence.
Children are able to participate in a part-time capacity in this program. The academic portion of the day is concentrated between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm. This part-day program is designed to extend educational and developmental opportunities to children whose families do not desire full-time child care. This inclusion provides interaction with other children in organized group activities as well as experiences with individualized educator guided learning activities. The part-day program runs 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and includes lunch.
Each August, Alphabet Academy celebrates those graduating from our Pre-Primary program and moving on to Kindergarten.
The Pre-Primary program has two different classrooms – Pre-Primary East and Pre-Primary West.
The child to teacher ratio in Pre-Primary East 1 to 8 for children 3 years of age, 1 to 12 for children 4 years of age, and 1 to 15 for children 5 years of age. The Pre-Primary East room is designed to accommodate up to 25; however, enrollment is capped at 24 children cared for by 3 teachers.
The child to teacher ratio in Pre-Primary West room is 1 to 8 for children 3 years of age, 1 to 12 for children 4 years of age, and 1 to 15 for children 5 years of age. The Pre-Primary West room is designed to accommodate up to 33 children; however, enrollment is capped at 24 children cared for by 3 teachers.
Alphabet Adventures (Kindergarten to 6th grade)
Alphabet Adventures Program: The Alphabet Adventures program is designed for school aged children who have completed Kindergarten through 6th grade and are less than 13 years old.
During the school year, the Alphabet Adventures program provides transportation to and from St. Theresa Catholic School (Des Moines) and Westridge Elementary School (West Des Moines). We also assist with pick up and drop off for the Woodland Hills Elementary School (Waukee) school bus at the 64th and Beechtree Drive bus stop. During the school year, Alphabet Adventures children are provided breakfast before school and afternoon snack after school. During days off or extended breaks during the school year, Alphabet Adventures children are provided with daily programing that includes breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack. Our school year program is a happy combination of relaxation after a busy school day and fun with friends.
During the summer the Alphabet Adventures program provides a weekly themed summer camp with activities to explore and learn from. Field trips add adventure to the already engaging educational aspects. Children are engaged in topics and activities that they don’t even realize they are learning from! Past Alphabet Adventures field trips have included Science Center of Iowa, National Balloon Museum, Iowa Hall of Pride, Iowa Cubs game, Racoon River Nature Lodge, Gold Star Museum, county fairs, Iowa State Fair, Apple Store, IPTV. Our program also has visited various movie theaters, splash pads, swimming pools, libraries and city and county parks.
The Alphabet Adventures program is housed in our adjacent clubhouse. This space is designed to accommodate up to 21 children; however, enrollment is capped at 18 children cared for by two teachers. An additional teacher joins the group for field trips.