The program follows the principles of child development. Freedom, not license, and self-regulation are concepts that are at the foundation. The focus is on each child's individual style, needs and growth. The day is balanced by child-selected activities and those that are teacher-directed.
The children at Chelsea Day School play. They play to make sense out of their world, to learn more about themselves and each other, to develop language and to express themselves. Rules foster physical and emotional safety. Discipline is valued as a teaching tool, and adult intervention is supportive rather then punitive or moralistic.
The twos/threes classes focus on separation and language development through stories, songs and interactions with peers and adults. There are 12 children with 2 adults in each session. The children attend 3 mornings a week from 9 to 12.
The threes classes emphasize process, decision-making, personal responsibility and communication. There are 15 children in each session with 3 teachers. Children must attend 5 mornings a week and may add afternoons until 3.
The fours classes support skills of observation, organization and problem-solving. The transition to symbolic expression is begun. There are 16 Children in each class with 2 teachers. The children must attend 5 mornings and at least 2 afternoons.