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The Creative Curriculum® Solutions

This curriculum is already in place in the area preschools and Head Start Program. This would be an adoption of best practices starting at an earlier age for our youth.


This committee proposes the adoption of the Creative Curriculum, which is rooted in child development theory and practice. In this framework, children interact with materials and their peers and use the learning environment. We believe that play is the natural and most effective way children learn. Through play, social interaction with peers and hands-on activities, a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth is enhanced.


Teachers can build on a child’s interests and strengths to meet his/her individual needs. Each age group has its own developmental goals.

For nearly 30 years, Teaching Strategies has believed that the best and most powerful way to improve child outcomes is through effective teaching. And that’s why we’ve created forward-thinking, comprehensive, research-based and research-proven curriculum resources. These help teachers and caregivers to be their most effective, while still honoring their creativity and respecting their critical role in making learning

exciting and relevant for every child. Our supportive curriculum solutions are used by early childhood educators across the country, helping them provide children with developmentally appropriate programs that support active learning and promote progress in all developmental areas.

Pyramid Model

The Pyramid Model is a Multi-Leveled System of Support (MLSS) to enhance social & emotional competence in infants, toddlers & young children. It offers evidence-based strategies for parents & professionals to support optimal development & prevent challenging behaviors.


The Pyramid Model is consistent with the public health/mental health model of promotion, prevention & intervention. The Pyramid Model framework is an evidenced based model for multi-leveled systems of support in early childhood programs. Program-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model is the equivalent model for implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in programs for young children.


Assessment board intervention that results in individualized and behavior support plans.

Systematic approaches to teaching social skills can have a preventative and remedial effect.

High quality early childhood environments promote positive outcomes for all children.

Supportive responsive relationships among adults and children is an essential component to promote healthy social and emotional development.

Systems and policies promote and sustain the use of evidence-based practices.


This committee has explored the many ways a childcare center can transform into a truly remarkable development center. We would encourage adopting strategies in the book 7 Simple Ideas To Make Your Classroom BLOOM! offered through the Dekko Foundation. Here are the 7 bullet points that are highlighted with this approach:


  • Some Choice Is Good. Too Much Choice Puts Children Into Overload!


  • Give Children What They Need To Learn. Nothing Less. Nothing More.


  • Offer Children Variety. They'll Find Topics They Love And You'll Be Amazed At How They Blossom!

  • Start With The Basics. Add Detail Once Children Understand.

  • Plan For Movement. Make Sure It's Meaningful!

  • Learning Feels So Good, Children Couldn't Dream Of A Better Reward!


  • It's Not About You. It's About The Children.

Image by Lucas Alexander

Curriculum By Age

We Pledge to Provide Children With Authentic Learning Opportunities At Every Stage.

Infant - One Year Olds:

  • Interaction with caring, nurturing staff that builds a sense of security and trust.

  • An environment that promotes achievement of developmental milestones.

Two - Three Year Olds:

  • Independence in a secure, consistent environment.

  • Self-help skills.

  • Language and social development.

Four - Five Year Olds:

  • Kindergarten-readiness skills

  • Problem solving and effective interaction

  • Self-esteem and positive attitudes toward learning

School Age:

  • Extending STEM/STEAM and literacy skills through active learning

  • Problem solving and effective interaction

  • Self-esteem and positive attitudes toward learning

Additional Standards

Strive For Five

Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating system for DHS Licensed Centers, DHS Licensed Preschools, Department of Education programs and Child Development Homes. QRS was developed to raise the quality of child care in Iowa, raise the number of children in high-quality child care settings and to educate parents about quality in child care.


QRS uses a rating system geared toward increasing quality. Participating providers are rated with 1 to 5 stars, depending on how many improvement steps they are awarded.


Level 5 requires a minimum of 25 points for Child Development Homes and a minimum of 34 points for licensed centers, preschools and school based programs as well as an Environment Rating Scale (ERS) score of 5.0 or greater from an Iowa State University (ISU) Assessor.


This committee is determined to build an early childhood development center meeting the requirements to earn a 5 star rating from QRS. By partnering with The Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral, we will utilize the resources provided via self guided checklists and self-assessments to ensure the center is striving for five from start up to succession.

Healthy Hometown Initiatives Powered by Wellmark

Healthy Hometowns, Powered By Wellmark, is an initiative for a community to eat well, move more and feel better. The childcare center will be encouraged to participate in Healthy Hometown committee efforts. Below are some bullet points to consider when structuring this center as a partner for our Healthy Hometown Initiatives:

Eat Well

  • On site garden with raised beds, tool shed, outside water source, covered learning area for outside classroom and activities

  • On site green house

  • On site orchard

  • Edible landscaping

  • On site food pantry with healthy options

  • On site gleaning program (i.e. community drop site)

  • On site teaching kitchen for cooking healthy options, taste testing, to provide take-home recipes  

  • Area for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) drop site (great for families when picking up kids)

  • Water filling station at the center; each student has a refillable bottle with name

  • Healthy vending and snack programs

  • Collaborate arrangements with ISU Extension, FFA, school programs, etc. that show

hands on learning with planting vegetables, cooking demos, taste testing.


Move More

  • Walking path on site that connects to trail or sidewalks

  • Safe routes to and from the center that connects to other areas of the community

  • Safe biking areas and bike racks (depending upon age group)

  • Activity decals/painted markings – inside and outside

  • Indoor and outdoor play areas that encourage physical activity

  • Natural playscape on site


Feel Better

  • Nicotine-free policies – that include vaping at the center, on grounds, etc.

  • Outdoor and indoor social gathering areas for reading, relaxing, oversized games, etc. – for kids and family members; sitting areas, outdoor classrooms, gazebo, butterfly garden

  • Indoor aviary

5 - 2 - 1 - 0

By implementing the 5-2-1-0 method as a guideline to begin with, healthy habits for both the staff and the children will be a

natural way of conducting business. Early care and education sites have the opportunity to provide a "whole child approach" to wellness and education by providing healthier foods and creatively increasing physical activity throughout the day.

There is a Healthy Choices Count! Toolkit that will walk the coordinator and staff through the process, help assess the site and provide resources and tools for them to create and implement an Action Plan. Below are the steps that are laid you in the Action Guide, provided by Iowa Healthiest State:

  • Engage: identify a 5-2-1-0 Champion and team members.

  • Register: Sign-up online to become a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site.

  • Implement: Identify your goals and turn them into action.

  • Share: Spread the word about how you're making #HealthyChoicesCount.

  • Check - In: Get recognized for making the healthy choice the easy choice.


 The Healthy Hometown Committees that are already in place in Creston and Afton would encourage the coodinator (or assigned staff) to participate in all Healthy Hometown Initiatives possible, including being a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site.

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