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WADDLERS: Rooms 109-110

“KOCO is down-to-earth comfortable. Kids can be kids. The caring staff appreciate the demands of a working family.” KOCO Parent
ELM Early Learning Matters Curriculum

The Early Learning Matters (ELM) Curriculum is a comprehensive, evidence-informed program to support the optimal learning and development of children from birth to five years of age. The curriculum promotes skills linked to school readiness and life success with developmentally appropriate teaching strategies and a coordinated mix of staff-guided and child-initiated learning experiences. 

ELM was developed by a team of early childhood experts led by Distinguished Professor Douglas Powell. This work occurred in Purdue University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies for the Department of Defense Child Development Program as part of the DoD-USDA Partnership for Military Families.

ELM is based on results of rigorous research, standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and consultations with nationally recognized early childhood experts. Extensive review of outcome research was conducted to answer two questions: What early childhood skills are linked to later positive outcomes, particularly indicators of school readiness? What early childhood classroom practices significantly support the development of early childhood skills linked to later positive outcomes for children? Experts in the care and education of young children and a range of stakeholders were consulted throughout the development of the curriculum.


The teachers and students at KOCO investigate topics  of interest throughout the school year. In lieu of a traditional lesson plan, each class decides what they already Know about a particular topic, discuss what they Want to know about the topic, and then they devise learning experiences to help them Learn (K-W-L model). Topics for early childhood investigations are ideally quite simple; recent investigations topics have included Hands, Apples, Balls, and Shoes.  


Ideas generated by each "investigation" are webbed collaboratively; the web becomes a "living document", to be added to, changed, and otherwise revised as the investigation progresses. Students control the depth and length of each investigation (topics of great interest may generate investigations of a month or more!).


Visit Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Early Childhood Education to learn more about Investigations-style learning experiences.

Waddlers: Rooms 109-110

Ages 1 - 2 years

7:00 am – 6:00 pm Standard Program Hours

6:30 am  7:00 am Early Opening


4:1 ratio of students to teachers (max 8:2)

Individual cots for naptime

Toilet training optional

Stimulating room environment

  • Music, books, toys, art, fingerplays, TLC

  • Individual attention

  • Wooden climber slide

  • Curriculum supports Connecticut Early Learning & Development Standards (CT-ELDS)

  • Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) compliant

  • Investigations-style curriculum

  • Enrichment Curriculum includes American Sign Language, Story Kitchen, Literacy Program

  • Outdoor grassy play area right outside the door

  • 4-seat buggy rides

  • Parents provide food, beverages, diapers, wipes, spare clothes, bedding

  • Administrators certified in CPR, First Aid and Medication Administration

  • Weekly visits from Health and Educational Consultants

  • Birth-to-Three consultations as needed

  • Quarterly enrichment visitors

  • Daily notes (phone calls always welcome!)

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