Reggio Emilia-Inspired Program


Our educational philosophy is based on project work & the Reggio Emilia approach.  Our emergent curriculum is child-based and focuses on intense hands-on experiences.  This approach helps stimulate community and awareness among every age.  Other important pieces of our program are family participation, field trips, and projects. 


Our Emergent Program includes:
Child based programming
Interactive circle times are short and center on the interests and needs of the class
Fresh provocations and activities are offered daily to capture interest
Lesson plans are based on the interests of the group

Kindergarten readiness frequently evaluated to meet physical, social and academic skills needed 

Play-based learning approach

Children research and expand on topics of current interest

Encourage child-lead scientific process throughout centers and activities

Provide safe-risk activities and safe big body play opportunities throughout the day

Offering open ended art/sensory experiences daily
Art materials in an array of mediums presented daily though aesthetically pleasing setups 
A variety of 2-d and 3-d materials offered daily to be used open-ended by children to complete project ideas
Children's interests, topics, and ideas are observed and supported
Allowing the freedom to gain sensory experiences by learning skills (gluing, taping, cutting, drawing, painting, etc.)
Allowing children to create art by themselves, not teacher-guided or teacher-created

Encouraging children to create documentation about interests and plans for research in classroom


Teacher and Parental Involvement

Teachers understand and reference the Milestones of Child Development and Virginia's Foundation Blocks for Early Learning

Staff utilize tools such as CLASS, ITERS, and ECERS to continually improve and modify teaching methods implemented

Teachers co-mentor one another through a supportive teaching community

Parent-teacher conferences are offered twice a year and available more frequently upon request

Parents volunteer to help with special projects in the classroom and attend field trips

Parents may let their child's teacher know if they plan to join their child for lunch

Nursing moms can breastfeed their infant on site

Environment as the third teacher: Keeping room arrangement conducive to hands on learning

Rich material-filled centers
Frequent switching out of materials
New provocations out daily on tables and in discovery/sensory tables
Keeping all centers open to the children and allowing children choice in activity participation


Healthy breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack provided daily with whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables

Field Trips. Projects, & Hands on learning
Actively exposing the children to our community places and people
Incorporating field trips and hands-on projects to solidify learning
Classes may break into smaller groups for longer intense projects and explorations

Frequent neighborhood field trips include the Gordon Avenue Library, UVA Gardens, neighborhood walks, the Rotunda, and our older classrooms can catch the trolley to explore further in the city


Our Outdoor Classroom

​​​Daily opportunities available in our natural outdoor classroom

Research has shown that children who play and learn outdoors are healthier and happier

Encourages healthy eating habits

Furnished with natural materials

Allows the children to conduct intense exploration while developing an appreciation of the natural world

School-wide composting program

  • organic edible garden, including fruits, vegetables, and herbs
  • butterfly garden
  • rain barrels
  • music area
  • mud kitchen
  • outdoor block and sensory experiences
  • outdoor art easel
  • evolving natural environment
  • gentle feet sensory path bordering our cedar plank walkway
  • messy  materials area
  • worm factory
  • child-centered seating throughout the space
  • picnic area


WCCC is located at 450 Rugby Road, Charlottesville VA 22903.
WCCC is open Monday-Friday, 7:30am-5:30pm. Call us at 434-977-3322.

Providing Early Childhood Academic Excellence Since 1972!