Mission and Philosophy

Since 1918, St. Vincent Early Learning Center has served our community. As we look to the future, your support and investment in our work continue to be critical to the children, families and community we serve.

Our Philosophy

100 Languages of the Child

Children have many ways to think, communicate and learn. We emphasize giving children endless ways to express their ideas, thoughts, understanding and knowledge.

An Emergent Learning Process

Play-based and inquiry-based learning is focused on children’s interests – engaging and challenging them to make sense of the world. Play is used to maximize their potential in all areas of development, and through exploration of materials they build knowledge and understanding.

The Role of Families

A strong school-home connection inspires children to think deeply about the world and their own interests. We value families as their child’s first teacher and encourage their active participation in our program.

The Role of the Environment

Environment plays an integral role as a “Third Teacher.” It sparks children’s exploration and curiosity. Mindful use of space, color and light along with enriching materials helps to promote deeper thinking skills and learning.

The Role of Educators

Children and educators are partners in learning. Educators seek to understand children’s thinking and provoke their ideas. They listen and pose questions to encourage children to test theories, justify reasoning and assist in developing plans.


Together educators and early learners communicate and present their journeys through documentation. Educators honor and value children’s ideas through observation, documentation (photographs, writing, art, portfolios, video), and reflection. Educators are present to assist children in expressing what they have learned.

“Our task is to help children communicate with the world using all their potential, strengths, and languages and to overcome any obstacle presented by our culture.”

 Loris Malaguzzi

St. Vincent Early Learning Center ©2020. All rights reserved.