High Quality Early Learning and Childcare
Northwest Center Kids follows an inclusive model. We provide an early learning program for children with and without disabilities in the same program, recognizing each child as a unique individual. Children of all abilities play side by side, learning valuable lessons from each other.
We believe that through inclusive environments, children are given opportunities to reach their highest potential, while developing positive attitudes toward people of all abilities.
We use Creative Curriculum, which is a child directed, hands on learning method. Each of the classrooms has a written curriculum that outlines the developmental goals for that age.
Our play-based classrooms provide relevant, meaningful experiences where children learn by doing. We emphasize social-emotional skills, such as the ability to regulate one’s emotions and engage in positive interactions with peers, as the foundation for school readiness.
In each classroom, the physical room arrangement is divided into interest areas. The educator is viewed as the “facilitator” and “nurturer” of the child’s learning, and is always encouraging independent movement and behaviors. General transition time occurs in September. Parents are consulted regarding the transition plan for their child.
Check out our recent segment on KING 5 New Day NW and learn more about our inclusive early learning model.
Mission and Diversity Statement
At Northwest Center Kids we honor diversity of all kinds including all abilities, races, ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, marital status or ages. We strive to be culturally sensitive to families, respecting their values and sharing the diverse population we serve.
Inclusion means attending to the needs of all children in the same program and valuing each child and adult as unique individuals within the group. An inclusive setting creates a natural environment where all children are encouraged to share their unique gifts with others. We believe that through inclusive environments, children are given opportunities to reach their highest potential, while developing positive attitudes towards all types of people.
Our stimulating programs are broken into the following age ranges:
Our stimulating programs are broken into the following general age ranges:
Infants: 6 weeks to 12 months – A warm, nurturing environment where infants can develop at their individual pace and on their own schedule. Meaningful experiences lead the infants’ learning and strong relationships are forged between child and caregiver. Infants are provided with a safe and engaging environment that they are free to explore at their own pace.
Waddlers: 12 months to 24 months – A program that allows infants to master more advanced gross and fine motor skills through support to independently engage in one’s daily activities and routines. Sensory exploration is encouraged as children engage in art activities and play with materials of various textures. Children begin learning about their own emotions and the emotions of others as they engage with peers in a safe and nurturing social environment.
Toddlers: 24 months to 36 months – Children are supported in experimenting and practicing their new social, language, and motor skills in a safe and caring environment. Toddlers explore materials encouraging cooperative and imaginative play while negotiating social interactions with peers. Pre-literacy skills are nurtured through extensive discussions and print exploration.
Preschool: 3 years to 5 years – Our preschool program is a multi-year program designed to grow with the children as they develop and to prepare them for Kindergarten. Our emphasis is on helping the children feel secure in and develop their social and emotional skills. For example, we model and teach problem solving skills, how to sit successfully at circle time, and to name and manage their emotions. Academic skills such as pre-literacy and pre-math skills are also taught through fun, engaging, child-centered activities. Most of all, our preschool classrooms instill a love of school that we hope lasts a lifetime.
Through collaboration with King County, the City of Seattle and Northwest Center, Northwest Center Kids at Chinook became a reality in 2010. We are licensed through the Washington Department of Early Learning to provide childcare for children from 6 weeks to 5 years and are supported by our early intervention/therapy department, a Birth To Three contractor with King County. We are a division of Northwest Center, a not for profit 501©3 corporation.
Northwest Center was founded in 1965 by a group of parents of children with developmental disabilities that wanted their children to have the right to education. Those parents succeeded in the creation of several important inclusion laws that granted all children the right to free and appropriate education. Since then, Northwest Center Kids has served younger children in an inclusive environment that promotes education, acceptance and developmentally appropriate practice. Later, Northwest Center grew to include services for adults with disabilities, including programs of rehabilitation and vocational training. Northwest Center is the largest, most comprehensive non-profit of its kind in the northwest. The center is dedicated to people and has a passion for excellence, a commitment to service and a respect for all families.
Through a Federal Grant from the Department of Education, Northwest Center designed a curriculum including toddlers with disabilities into a typical high quality childcare. Through four decades of listening to families and enhancing the program we continue to be leaders in the field of inclusive early learning. We provide child development for children with and without developmental disabilities. Families are supported through programs of education, advocacy, therapy and financial assistance. We honor and celebrate families with diverse backgrounds and cultural values.
Northwest Center Kids has a vision. We believe that all children—with and without disabilities—should have the opportunity to learn, play, and grow together.
We believe play, independent thinking, problem solving and self-initiated learning experiences are keys to healthy development.