Are we a School or a Daycare?

We are a School First and a Daycare Second

Some folks ask us, "Are you a daycare or a school?" The answer is we are a school that offers wrap around child care services. We are licensed by the PA Department of Education which means we are a school, and we are approved by the PA Department of Education State School Board to offer Preschool/PreK and Kindergarten. While we are open 7am until 5:30pm, our “formal” school hours are from 8:30am to 3pm, and the hours outside of 8:30am and 3pm are considered wrap around care, or daycare if you will.

Being that we are licensed by the PA Department of Education, all of our lead Preschool/PreK and Kindergarten classroom teachers must hold a valid PA PreK-4 certificate. It also means that we are held to the strict standards in the Pennsylvania Code chapter 51. We must follow the PA Early Learning Standards to ensure that the children are being properly educated at Dall'Inizio DaySchool.  We are also licensed by the PA Department of Human Services so that we may offer child care to children under 2.5 years old and also to provide the wrap around care for our older students.

We are a Reggio Emilia Inspired school. All Reggio Emilia schools are different from each other. The reason that no 2 Reggio schools are alike is that the people who make up each school are different and the approach is one that follows the lead and the needs of the children enrolled. Reggio Emilia in my opinion, isn’t necessarily a “look,” but more of a method or a philosophy.  So what does this mean at Dall’Inizio DaySchool? It means that we tailor our school to our current students utilizing our own unique community. We believe that learning occurs naturally through exploration, play and development. We believe that a child’s learning is fostered through their natural environment and a purposeful environment. Being a part of the State College community, we are blessed with so much diversity and a variety of wonderful learning resources. State College is filled with so many different cultures and it is exciting to learn all about them from one another! Because we are also licensed by the PA Department of Human Services and we participate in the PA Keystone STARS program, there are some regulations and standards set by those agencies that you would not necessarily see or experience in a traditional Reggio Emilia Inspired center. That is what makes the Reggio Emilia approach so great! We are able to “marry” all of these things, so to speak, and create a really great program for our children!

Below I have included some resources to help you better understand the PA Early Learning Standards, PA Keystone STARS along with methods and strategies we use when helping and teaching our friends who are learning English as a second language.

-Carrie Pase

Founder and CEO of Dall’Inizio DaySchool