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How will I know what my child is learning?

Communication is an essential component of our high-quality Hopwood Child Care experience for any parent. We utilize numerous tools to ensure that parents are up-to-speed regarding their child’s growth and development. Child-specific portfolios provide detailed information about your child’s experiences on a weekly basis. Our teachers post ongoing lesson plans, and display project boards illustrating the children’s work. Through these various avenues, parents receive a well-rounded account of how their child is progressing, and how their social, emotional, and cognitive needs are being met. Parent/Teacher conferences can also be held upon request.

Why should I chose the Reggio Emilia-Inspired approach for my child?

A  Reggio Emilia-method of teaching is “child-centered”, but what does that mean exactly?  Wouldn’t most preschoolers study candy and Netflix if given the choice? When given the opportunity to explore natural elements, you would be surprised how a child's interest thrives. You won't find rote learning, handwriting exercises or memorization in this type of atmosphere. In a Reggio-classroom, children are immersed in discovering information through all their senses, and from multiple angles – scientifically, artistically, musically, narratively, etc. The Reggio-approach promotes a love for learning.

Why is the Reggio Emilia-Inspired approach appropriate for my infant/toddler?

Just like our preschool classroom, the importance dedicated to environments and spaces within our infant/toddler areas are developmentally appropriate, sensory inspired, and act as the “third teacher”. The activities that we plan, the things we say, and the relationships that we create with infants/toddlers form the foundation for more learning to come. Co-participation of families are encouraged daily through regular communication, along with educational documentation kept on each child. 

How do Reggio Emilia-Inspired teachers view children?

Reggio-teachers believe that children have rights. Children, at Hopwood Child Care and in our entire community, have rights that adults should honor. Children have the right to play, the right to eat, the right to inviting spaces, the right to sing, love, dance, and learn. Language, no matter what form, is a right that children deserve. Children are encouraged, by our professionals, to explore their right of looking closely, the right to solving their own problems, and the right to test theories. 

How do children learn skills without direct instruction?

Our approach emphasizes hands-on discovery learning that allows each child to use all their senses and all their languages to learn. We believe in the importance of a well-rounded approach to education. We do instruct/guide children and we step back to allow them to learn on their own and from one another. 

1) All children are competent, curious and courageous. 

2) Essential learning takes place within a system of relationships.

3) Children's questions and interests are a foundation for learning experiences.

4) Children express themselves through many languages.

5) Documentation allows children and adults to remember and reflect on learning experiences. 

How is my child being prepared for Kindergarten and beyond?

During pre-primary years, children are developing at such different speeds that assessment of skills and knowledge for preschool children can sometimes be irrelevant  Uniform standards regarding ability benchmarks for a preschool child are significantly less appropriate than they would be for an elementary or middle school student. We do practice all of the necessary literacy and math skills to get children Kindergarten ready, while following PA State Standards. We just do it a little differently. Reggio-Inspired children are acquiring these skills daily, along with something even more important. They are learning that education is the process of wondering, exploring and then wondering some more...

What does "The Hundred Languages" mean? 

The phrase “the hundred languages of children” conveys the idea that the conventional language of formal education, primarily reading and writing, are too limited. Young children have many nonacademic ways of communicating, exploring, and learning. Children “speak” through play and movement, though physical affection and facial expressions, through dance and singing, through drawing and painting. 

How is student learning documented?

Documentation makes visible the learning that takes place within the classroom community. We give great consideration to how student work is displayed throughout our facility. Families receive regular updates about their child and a visual portfolio celebrating their child’s learning journey. It is not simply a matter of photographing the students while they are involved in a particular activity; it is collecting their work and experiences in as many media as possible and then looking at these to see what emerges for the benefit of all the adults and children involved. 

What is the difference between Montessori and Reggio Emilia-Inspired?

The teachers in these approaches share in common the goals to be nurturers, partners, and guides to children. They depend on carefully prepared, aesthetically pleasing environments as a pedagogical tool, providing strong messages about the curriculum and respect for children. Partnering with parents is highly valued in both approaches. Here are a few of the differences:


  • Created for parents
  • Believes in the Universal Child
  • Strict developmental stages
  • Prepared environment
  • Meets the needs of the child
  • Teacher plays the role of unobtrusive director in the classroom
  • Teacher is linked between child and environment
  • Teacher's goal is to have a less and less need to intervene as the child develops
  • Personality formed by experience
  • Based on freedom
  • Observation: To see what happens next

Reggio Emilia-Inspired:

  • Created by parents
  • Believes children are deeply rooted in a specific culture
  • Against set developmental stages
  • "Amiable" Environment: classrooms, outdoor play areas
  • Meets the needs of the family
  • Teacher plays a role of artful balancing between engagement and attention
  • Teacher is a co-learner
  • Teacher's goal is to serve as a resource and be available to act as a guide to the children
  • Personality formed by social context
  • Based on communication and relationships
  • Documentation: To learn what happens next