Lighthouse Learning Center Curriculum

Our Promise Programs Educational Philosophy

The first few years of life are an extraordinary time that sets the stage for the all the years that follow. Our program creates developmentally appropriate educational environments that empower children to be confident, successful, lifelong learners.

Programs for Infants and Toddlers

Lighthouse Learing Center At Lighthouse Learning Center, we develop programs to make sure we work together in the exciting adventure of growing a great child in a caring and learning community. Your baby's teacher plays a special role and is responsible for your baby's prime times: those critical one-to-one moments of caring and play, nurturing and communication. The other teachers in the room and many others in the center also will become special people to your baby.

Using Creative Curriculum, our program provides babies with a safe, welcoming environment abundant with opportunities to actively enjoy, to make sense of the world by exploring a rich sensory environment filled with different sights, sounds, textures, and sensations.

At Lighthouse Learning Center, infants and toddlers:

Discover and develop all bodily powers with room to grow and soft, safe places to roll over and pull up, to creep and crawl, and to step out into the world.

Deeply connect with others in a caring community that helps your baby form relationships that foster a sense of security and trust.

Learn to communicate fully in a place filled with wonderful conversations, poetry, finger plays, singing, reading, and lots of smiles and hugs.

Discover how everything works with quality educational materials and learning experiences that evoke and satisfy your baby's natural curiosity.

In our infant rooms and outdoor areas, you will find mirrors and rugs, treasure baskets filled with soft fabric or natural materials, sensory tables, and lots of great books to hold (and chew on!). There are musical instruments; toys for pretend play; safe equipment and outdoor places to safely explore; and lots of cuddly laps and open arms to provide young babies with the security and confidence they need to spread their wings.

Communication is Essential As parents, you deserve to know everything that happens while your baby is in our care. We make great efforts to ensure that you are always in the know. We love to tell you about and show you, your child's experiences through daily communications, and the photographic displays around the room. To make sure the care we provide is just right for you and your baby, a personal care plan includes a schedule, nutritional guidelines, and any other requirements specific to your child. The plan will reflect your child's unique characteristics and your own beliefs, values, and culture. Regular phone calls, conferences, and e-mails are all part of this important partnership.

Program for Twos

Twos are exploding in their power to communicate, to move purposely, to assert their independence and individuality. In the same way that adolescence stands between childhood and adulthood, twos are moving from the total dependence of babyhood to the more independent, mobile world of preschoolers.

Program for Learning at Lighthouse Learning Center

The twos program is designed to guide each child through his or her transition from the sensory-motor world of toddlers to an increasingly social world and the onset of symbolic thinking. The environment is well-planned, allowing for child-choice and self-directed play, small groups, brief circle-times with the whole group, reflection and documentation of learning experiences, and supportive teaching that prepares children for academic excellence

. The twos program incorporates Creative Curriculum elements of language arts, math, science, and art into the environment, daily activities, and projects that organize the children's experience.

Program for Preschool Children

Preschool children are exploding with expanding interests. At this age, they begin to investigate the workings of a widening world and experiment with their emerging use of language.

The Preschool Stage is the period that follows the marvelous, explosive growth of the first two or three years of life and precedes the serious business of formal schooling. It is a time of enormous educational strides in language and conceptual thinking, and in the development of self and social skills. Preschool is also a time when parents and society begin to look at children differently, looking toward elementary school and beyond to cultivate future students and citizens. Preschool is both a daily place to be and a place to prepare: to be a three- or four- or five-year-old and enjoy childhood, and to prepare for the life that follows, in school and out.

Excellence in preschool education is about balancing the present and the future. It asks us to understand and appreciate the child in front us, while recognizing what the child can become. The Creative Curriculum is designed to align preschool program goals and practices with families' expectations of educational excellence in preparation for academic success. Each child is expected to learn all the necessary skills and understandings to succeed in kindergarten and to continue to thrive academically. At the same time, we want each child to have a terrific childhood.


Teachers at Lighthouse plan weekly for the classroom environment and activities. Lessons are planned by professional teachers, using a research-based curriculum, to prepare activities that are focused on the learning needs of the individual child as well as the group as a whole. Planned, written curriculum is used year-round for every age child attending Lighthouse Learning Center. Lighthouse Learning Center Teachers create developmentally appropriate educational environments that empower children to be confident, successful, lifelong learners.

The Creative Curriculum is Aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Standards designed by the Illinois State Board of Education. Lighthouse Learning Center Preschool Environment is primarily based on The Creative Curriculum, developed by Teaching Strategies Inc, in use in high-quality early education settings throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. Because young children learn best through active interaction with the physical and social environment, the curriculum is focused on developing an experientially rich, developmentally appropriate environment that responds to the creativity of children and teachers. At the core of the Creative Curriculum lie well planned learning centers that allow for child choice and self-directed play, small groups, and supportive teaching designed to ensure future academic success. The development of language, mathematical reasoning, and scientific thought are emphasized throughout the centers. Changes to the learning environment, activities, and projects reflect emerging interests. Learning centers result in the guided experiences that encompass all the skills and understandings necessary for optimum development and success in school.

Typical centers include:

Language/Library Computers Construction/Blocks

Cooking Dramatic Play

Outdoor Learning

Art/Creative Expression

Music and Movement Sensory: Sand and Water


Learning centers are supplemented by any number of independent learning stations designed for use by one or two children.

Throughout the day, children make self-directed and guided choices, participate in small groups and projects, join in circle-times with the whole group, and reflect upon and document their learning experiences. Teachers build upon, rather than direct or control, the thoughts and actions of children. Children are guided to critical learning experiences that form the building blocks of healthy development. Using the Creative Curriculum and knowledge of the children and families as a framework, teachers use their talent and expertise to design, adapt, and invent learning centers that best serve the children in the room. Our playgrounds are extensions of the classroom, providing healthy, safe, and stimulating environments for each child. In addition to sensory play with sand, water, clay, and paints, we offer riding toys to push or peddle, climbing structures for toddlers and preschoolers, natural areas, and quiet, shady areas for enjoying the outdoors.

All of our programs adapt to the changing needs, interests, and abilities of each child in our care. Documentation, child assessment guides, and parent-teacher goal setting help create individualized programs that allow children to reach their full potential. Children come to us with the wonder, desire, and will to learn. Our job is to make sure they leave Lighthouse Learning Center with their inquisitive natures enhanced and with the discipline and tools to succeed.

Educational Goals

Educated, professional teachers using a research based curriculum to provide a nurturing, home-like environment and an educational experience that considers the comprehensive, optimum developm

ent of each child: mind, body, social self, and character.

Preparation for success in life Approaching life as an invitation to learn

Becoming a confident and competent lifelong learner

Becoming a confident and competent user of technology

Developing emotional intelligence: personal power and social skills

Preparation for academic excellence

Developing the social and cognitive skills necessary for school success

Achieving excellence in language and literacy

Developing an engaged, reflective, inquisitive mind and appreciation of science

Achieving excellence in logical/mathematical understanding


Columbia, IL
Freeburg, IL
Cahokia, IL
Waterloo, IL
For a list of all of our locations and programs, please navigate to Our Centers page.

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Hours of Operation

Our centers' hours of operation are weekdays, 6:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Programs are offered on a full-time or part-time basis to meet your needs.

Our Curriculum
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