Based on knowledge of children's development, on the strengths and needs of individual children in our program, and the cultural context of their families and our community, curriculum is developed in a "grass roots" emergent style. While the backbone of the program is learning centers, the essence of the Children's Center revolves around this emergent style curriculum, also known as "The Project Approach". The "Project Approach" is an approach to curriculum that builds investigations based on the children's observed interests. Both teachers and children build the curriculum, which emerges from the children's interests as they interact with each other and their environment.
The NIC Children's Center's philosophy is inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Our approach to education is one where children, families, and teachers are co-constructors of knowledge. The natural development of children, as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment is at the center of this philosophy. We believe the central reason that a child must have control over his or her day-to-day activity is that learning must make sense from the child's point of view.