Manchester School for Young Children began as an idea, a vision to change the way our community views early childhood education. There was a passion to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of brain development in the early years of a child’s life and an understanding that education does not start once a child enters the elementary school system, it starts at birth.
I decided to turn that vision into a reality. I decided that it was time to stop complaining about what the programs in our community were lacking, and make a change on my own. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Washburn University and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Emporia State University. I taught preschool for two years and kindergarten for six years at Christ the King Catholic School. My most recent experience is an early childhood special education teacher at Shawnee County Infant/Toddler at TARC. I knew I had a solid background in working with children and families ages 0-6 and I understand developmentally appropriate practices. I enjoy working with children of all abilities and disabilities and appreciate the challenge in learning how to accommodate each individual child, because we all know that every child is unique in their interests and learning traits. Knowing that I had the foundation to create an ideal program, I took a leap and created a plan for what the perfect school would look like. That’s when Manchester School for Young Children was founded. Through many obstacles and ups and downs, it often felt like this project would never actually happen. But in August of 2012, a prayer was answered and this dream became real.
Manchester School believes that all children have incredible potential from birth. It is the responsibility of the parents, caregivers, and teachers to work together to nurture that potential and watch it turn into something phenomenal.
Families that choose to enroll their children in this type of program will be making a commitment to look at early childhood in a way that is most likely new to them. Parents will agree to spend a minimum of 10 volunteer hours per school year. This can be done in a wide variety of ways, as we will always respect that you have careers that may make time away from the office difficult. Teachers will support the children in their path to learning and will not always instantly provide “correct answers” but instead will guide the children into discovering those answers on their own, through exploration, in an effort to create life long learners. Manchester will be a progressive preschool* that will use a Reggio-inspired curriculum, while following Kansas Early Learning Standards. The children will garden, growing their own herbs and vegetables, and participate in recycling and discover how nature plays an important role in our learning. We serve only healthy meals and snacks, trying to have as few processed foods as possible, and we serve drink hormone-free milk and water. Any leftover food will be dropped off at the Assumption Catholic Church food window. Staff and children will make many of their own art supplies and will use many natural materials for projects and play. The facility will be decorated in creations made by the children, not prefabricated cutouts or teacher-made decorations. Our curriculum will accommodate all children, regardless of their learning style, ability, or disability, to the best of our ability. This school welcomes all children.
We recognize children from birth, as citizens of the world and they will always be treated with respect.Christina Turner
*Note: We use the term preschool for birth to pre-kindergarten programs. I don’t like the term “daycare” as I feel that we are doing more than just providing care. This is a school program, just on a smaller scale for smaller people.
Video Monitoring is available in all classrooms, Infants through Pre-Kindergarten. Parents of enrolled children can log in with their smart phones or computers to see their children creating and exploring throughout the day!