Guiding Principles

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards Steering Committee has established Guiding Principles to inform the development and application of the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) in Wisconsin. These guiding principles reflect the knowledge base in scientific research, our values, and our commitment to young children and families.

Children Playing


Learning Ladder uses The Creative Curriculum. This curriculum highlights the important balance between applying a general knowledge of child development with the particular knowledge a teacher gains by forming a relationship with each child and family. Our Curriculum is based on five fundamental principles.

The field of early childhood education has made great strides in identifying the building blocks of later school success. Our Curriculum uses these building blocks as the foundation for our philosophy, the objectives for each child's learning, and guidelines for teaching and working with families. Our Curriculum is used to guide interactions with children in ways that promote development and learning, foster social competence, support learning through play, create rich environments for learning, and forge strong home-school connections. Another important benefit is that it aligns with Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards.

Typical Daily Schedule for Infants

The infant curriculum guides the development of a daily schedule that is responsive to the infant’s basic needs and grows into a toddler’s more predictable, yet flexible daily routine. The infant and toddler schedules will provide nurturing physical contact and attention such as being cuddled, rocked, spoken to, sung to, and taken on walks outside in strollers. Scheduling routines relating to activities such as taking a nap, eating, diapering will also be used as opportunities for language development and additional nurturing tender moments.

Typical Daily Schedule for Toddlers, Twos, and Preschool Children

Children will spend the majority of the day in their specified classroom following their predictable daily schedule. Classroom groups are organized by birth dates, individual child needs, and enrollment obligations.

Classrooms will be combined in the early mornings and late afternoons when there are low numbers of children in the building. As teachers arrive, the children will go to their classroom to begin their day.

A morning snack is served to children who arrive early in the day and after breakfast the daily anticipation of new activities will include circle time, a variety of learning activities and an outside playtime. Lunch and rest time will be next on the schedule. Snack will be served shortly after nap-time, followed by the afternoon activities. These activities are often an extension of the morning activities.

Daily activities will include a thematic curriculum with play-based learning centers. Learning centers will include reading areas, block areas, creative art, dramatic play, science, sensory, quiet areas. Music, math and literacy activities will be supported in the learning centers. In addition you will see teacher lead activities and daily physical education.

As the number of children decreases at the end of the day children will gather in one classroom where there will be activities available to choose from until parents arrive.

T4K Program (Together for Kids) (4-year-old’s)

Learning Ladder has partnered with the Monona Grove School District to provide 4-year-old preschool as part of district wide community collaboration. The program is located on-site and wrap around care is provided daily. The program is taught by a DPI certified teacher who is employed by Learning Ladder.

School-Age Curriculum (Kindergarten - 5th grade)

The school-age curriculum is designed to provide an atmosphere that builds confidence, self-esteem, personal achievement, while promoting respect for other people and the environment. Children’s natural curiosity and interests will be used as the motivation for development of group and individual situations. Homework assistance will be provided during the academic year and the summer camp will include field trips and community outreach activities.

Typical Daily Schedule for School-Age Children

The school-age children will be transported to our school on the Monona Grove School bus or via Learning Ladder vehicle. Attendance, snack, homework, recess and a variety of activities will be made available each day. There will be plenty of time for friendships to blossom. Additional activities will be added on days that they attend ‘full day’. Summer Camp provides an environment for children to continue to learn and grow through the summer months. See the summer camp brochure for more details. The children will be served an early morning snack, breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack on full days of attendance.