Children and Adults
At Yikes Tikes! we provide children with a high level of emotional support. The adults leading our classes are responsible for forming a circle of relationships between parents, children, and other adults. They foster a positive and home-like classroom climate, attend to individual child needs, and emphasize child interests and self-help skills, in partnership with parents. Classroom leaders maintain communication links between home and the classroom deliberately and regularly. This type of emotional support is linked with higher academic achievement and lower behavior problems, preparing children to succeed in kindergarten.
Children and Peers
Research shows that in pre-kindergarten classrooms, language development of the individual child is positively influenced by the language development of peers. At Yikes Tikes! we capitalize on peer-to-peer development opportunities by offering a mixed age classroom where younger children benefit from exposure to more linguistically advanced older children and older children practice leadership and learn responsibility by serving as models for younger children.
Our emotionally supportive classroom is designed to increase social competence and decrease problem behaviors, allowing children to focus on learning and social interaction. Research indicates that children who enter kindergarten with high social-emotional competence are more likely to develop positive attitudes about school and obtain higher levels of achievement. Yikes Tikes! emphasizes positive social interactions between children and positive social behaviors, allowing children to develop friendships with other children and good relationships with teachers.
Language and Motor Enrichment
Yikes Tikes! maintains a relationship with speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavior therapists from the Center for Speech Language and Occupational Therapy (CSLOT). These professionals facilitate our program by observing and following the interests of the children to create opportunities for learning, which emphasizes language development and the fine and gross motor skills children need for cognitive maturation. Moreover, these professionals provide additional developmental support for individual families on an ongoing basis.