The Discovery Preschool supports a challenging environment that intrigues a child’s natural intuitive curiosity. It is a unique child care experience that families will be proud to be involved with.

We acknowledge the incredible work of the children, parents and teachers in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Their approach to child care has inspired millions of educators from around the world to visit these schools and welcome many aspects of this approach into North American child care centres.


The fundamentals of the philosophy focus on:

Our school reflects a strong image of the child and we encourage them to be constructors of their own meaningful experience within the school. Children are acknowledged for being resourceful and competent with great potential. We value their curiosity and engage them to be co-participants in the daily life of the school. Our teachers are ready to participate in constructive strategies, to scaffold learning and pose new questions to sustain the energy of an idea. These values contribute to the formation of creativity, intelligence and awareness in children.

Mutual respect and admiration builds strong relationships and fosters co-participation between peers, teachers and parents. A small group working together encourages familiarity and support based on interactions and discussion. The dynamics of negotiation and cognitive coordination enrich children’s ideas and concepts of the world around them. This relationship context is what children and families desire in order for connections of the school experience to be stronger and continuous.

The environment plays a very important part of a person’s day and sends non-verbal messages of how to react in that space. Our environment creates the concept of a third teacher and our classrooms speak to children. We strive to send the message of being welcome and a feeling of pleasure to be in this space and to work here. The importance of their work, respect for all people, self- accomplishment and pride, and the promotion of teamwork are planned for in the workspaces designed. Children find joy in using space that is organized and respected. The work tools are useful and sustain the cognitive processes for constructing and research. Many materials will be made available to the children to encourage new skills and refinement of skills previously acquired. Therefore, the school strives to provide an ongoing challenge of experiences and activities.

An emergent curriculum engages children and teachers in observations, to hypothesize and predict, to develop a dialogue of thought provoking questions, to document events, and to celebrate the joys of learning. The child’s voice and ideas are to be encouraged as it is the basis of the curriculum. Our teacher’s co-construct the children’s concepts and careful choices are made to select projects for research and study. Children enjoy a curriculum that connects cognitive processes with imagination and is meaningful to immediate experiences. The process of the groups work is of extreme importance and much of the learning comes from making connections and retracing steps than from the final product itself.

The process of documentation makes the learning visible. It is an invaluable contribution by the children and teachers that depicts the emotional and intellectual value of the curriculum. Through these processes one can revisit the construction and reconstruction of the event, ideas and theories. Informal panels and journals show the children’s competence and connection to immediate and abstract ideas. It has the potential to involve the viewer into this dialogue to create a community of learners: the child, teacher and parent. The word documented does not enhance teaching. Rather, it transforms it into a valuable history that frames the school.

The curriculum depends on the continuity of time and the flexibility to avoid unnecessary transitions that may interrupt work and discovery. Certain appointments in the day that must be kept are snack, Meeting time, lunch, and rest. Washroom breaks will be guided by the children’s natural flow of time and as needed. Indoor and outdoor curriculum learning will be based on the flow of the day. The teachers respect that individual learning takes time, practice and support.

Reggio Emilia Approach

No way. The hundred is there.

The child is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking
a hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.
The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety- nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.They tell the child: to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety- nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together
And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.
~Loris Malaguzzi

Q: What is “the Reggio approach?”

The Reggio Emilia philosophy and approach to early childhood education has developed and continues to evolve as a result of over 40 years of experience within a system of municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Parents, who started the schools in the 1940s, continue to participate to ensure the schools reflect the values of the community. From the beginning, the late Loris Malaguzzi, leader, philosopher and innovator in education, who was then a young teacher, guided and directed the energies of those parents and several teachers. Through many years of work with them, he developed an education based on relationship, which has become widely known and valued. The Reggio Emilia approach is built upon a solid foundation of connected philosophical principles and extensive experience. Educators in Reggio Emilia have been inspired by many early childhood psychologists and philosophers, such as Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gardner and Bruner. Please understand that we are not referring to an early childhood method or set curriculum, but rather a deep knowledge in theory and community-constructed values that have been and are continuously being translated into high quality early childhood practices. As a result, educational theory and practice in Reggio Emilia is strongly connected. To learn more about fundamental principles of the Reggio approach, read Lella Gandini’s article, “Fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education,” published in the November 1993 issue of Young Children or Lella’s chapter in Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way: Accepting the Challenge to Change, edited by Joanne Hendrick.
The Reggio educators’ intention in sharing their experience with educators around the world is to encourage others to understand their own values regarding childhood, education and community. Reggio educators hope to promote dialogue among educators, so that they will come to understand their own identity as a school community. Through this process, educators can then ensure that the learning and relationships of children, teachers and parents within their school community reflect their shared values.

Q: How can I learn more about the Reggio approach?

There are numerous professional development initiatives in North America and in Reggio Emilia for those who are interested in learning more about the experience of educators in Reggio and those in North America inspired by this philosophy. See the home page of the NAREA website for information on “The Hundred Languages of Children” exhibit schedule, study tours to Reggio Emilia as well as NAREA professional development initiatives. For further information, click on the Professional Development section of the NAREA website. There you will find the Conferences and Initiatives page with information on conferences, seminars, workshops and learning tours in Reggio-inspired schools in North America and the General Bibliography page with a comprehensive listing of print and video resources. For a listing of resources published by Reggio Children, go to their website:
Those seeking to learn more might find NAREA’s annual summer conference to be of particular interest. Each year, the conference is located in a different community in North America, in order to encounter different regions and different contexts. The conference features the voices and experiences of classroom teachers, administrators, policy-makers, professors, authors and others. Opportunities for small group discussions and networking are maximized, in order for conference participants to build stronger connections with each other in the process of learning.

Q: What is the meaning of the phrase “the hundred languages of children?”

Educators in Reggio believe that children have the right and the ability to express their thinking, theories, ideas, learning and emotions in many ways. Therefore, Reggio educators provide children with a wide range of materials and media, and welcome a diversity of experiences, so that children encounter many avenues for thinking, revising, constructing, negotiating, developing and symbolically expressing their thoughts and feelings. In this way, teachers, parents and children can better understand each other. These languages can include drawing, paint, clay, wire, natural and recycled materials, light and shadow, dramatic play, music and dance. They can also include expression with words through metaphors, stories or poems of the children’s interpretations and reflections about their experiences or through special design, such as maps and three dimensional constructions. In fact, there is not a separation between what it is considered traditionally artistic expression and academic education in the schools of Reggio Emilia. All are considered part of the one hundred and more languages of learning. Teachers in Reggio often encourage children to represent their ideas on a particular topic in multiple languages, and find that the process of moving between languages supports children in their understanding and learning. To learn more about the role of languages in children’s learning and relationships, read Children, Art, Artists: The Expressive Languages of Children, The Artistic Language of Alburto Burri; The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach-Advanced Reflections