Next To Home Early Learning and Afterschool Center is a Multi-age group childcare.
The Association for Childhood Education International(ACEI)
list the following benefits of multiage-grouping:
- Children are able to spend longer periods of time with the same educator. This allows the educator to develop a deeper understanding of a child's strengths and needs, and is therefore in a better passion to support the child's learning.
- Children are viewed as unique individuals. The educator focuses on teaching each child according to his or her own strengths, unlike in same-age grouping that often expect all children to be at the same place at the same time with regard to ability.
- Children develop a sense of family with their peers. They become a "family of learners" who support and care for each other.
- Older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors and to take leadership roles.
- Children are more likely to cooperate than compete. The spirit of cooperation and caring makes it possible for children to help each other as individuals, not see each other as competitors.
- Older children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, and younger children are able to accomplish tasks they could not do without the assistance of older children. This dynamic increases the older child's level of independence and competence.
- Children are invited to take charge of their learning, by making choices at centers and with project work. This sense of "ownership" and self-direction is the foundation for lifelong learning.
- Children are exposed to positive models for behaviour and social skills.
- Children learn to play together much like sibling, cousins and family friends.