Many early education centers like U-GRO Learning Centres began as daycare centers several decades ago, in which their primary goal was to provide exceptional care for working parents. Now, centers like U-GRO continue to provide quality care, but their focus has shifted to education.
Quality care is always a priority, but learning and education are at the core of U-GRO. Our team members are more than caregivers; they are trained early childhood educators. Learn more about our team members and their dedication to early learning.
Credentials That Create Professional Instructors
We have team members with backgrounds in early childhood education, elementary education, social work, and many other disciplines. Our children have the benefit of learning from team members with varying backgrounds and skillsets.
U-GRO team members typically hold a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field like human services or psychology. Additionally, our core teaching staff must have a minimum of 1,250 hours of experience (or 2,500 hours if they do not have college credits). Requiring these early childhood education qualifications ensures that your child is under the care of a certified and well-trained teacher at all times while in our learning center.
Individuals who do not meet the above requirements are considered aides, and they may provide assistance to our teachers from time to time.
Our staff is driven to strengthen their credentials through ongoing development. They participate in 12 hours of continuing education sessions, including two in-service days each year, as well as other fire and safety training courses. They receive twice as many hours as the Department of Human Services requires. Our in-service days provide great opportunities for team members to network and connect with one another. Trainings are practical, intentional, and meaningful. These continuing education sessions provide team members with tools that they can implement in their classrooms.
In addition to in-service days, we offer resources and flexible scheduling to teachers who want to continue their education on their own time. U-GRO can also offer STARS funding to cover costs associated with continuing education.
Education That Benefits Even the Youngest Students
Education is at the core of our values. This means even our youngest U-GRO friends are learning every day from their excellent teachers. Our infant and toddler teachers are equipped with classroom tools they utilize in their lesson plans to teach basic concepts such as colors, objects, textures, and sounds. They teach sign language to help children communicate who aren’t forming words yet. Books are an especially important tool for our infant and toddler teachers to begin essential literacy skills, including how to hold a book or turn pages. Each of these concepts and skills helps create a foundation for each child’s educational journey.
Our teachers incorporate art activities in their lesson plans beginning at age one. These hands-on activities reinforce STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) concepts, helping your child to explore textures, colors, and different types of tools used in art.
Curriculum That Engages Your Child
Our teachers challenge and stimulate our students in all classrooms at U-GRO, beginning in our infant and toddler classrooms through our before and after school programs. In fact, academic skills are just one key aspect of our curriculum. U-GRO teachers use their expertise to help your child develop:
- Social and emotional skills
- Math and science skills
- Literacy and preschool skills
- Art concepts, creativity, and self-expression
Teachers use our proprietary Blended Model® curriculum, which combines teacher-directed activities with child-led discovery activities. As educators, they write weekly lesson plans and customize activities to each child’s unique learning journey. Through these experiences, your child’s teacher is educating and reinforcing the skills mentioned above.
Our outstanding team is here to help your child reach his or her full potential. When you’re looking to enroll your son or daughter in early childcare, consider their care and their education. Because of our dedicated team members, 95.7% of U-GRO children entering kindergarten meet or exceed state expectations. Your child is not only being cared for, but he or she is receiving an education that prepares him or her for academic success, gives them confidence, instills empathy, and so much more.