Early Learning Program

Early Learning Program (ELP)

The Mount Saint Agnes Academy Reggio Emilia Inspired Early Learning Program approach is truly an inspiring approach to early childhood education which values and nurtures the whole child in all their capacities. We value the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. We believe that every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential.  This interest drives the children to understand their world and their place within it.  Children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences. Play and self-guided exploration are essential elements of the approach educating the whole child and understand that each child is unique.  In ELP learning and play are not separated.  Our program inspires us, as educators, to enhance children’s ability to think and learn allowing creativity, confidence and independence. 

Reggio Emilia

The following key principles are inspirations from Reggio Emilia, which we have adapted to our own community and culture at Mount Saint Agnes Academy.


  • The Image of the Child: We believe in children’s strengths and capabilities. Our goal is to empower children to explore the world, create meaning, and challenge their own thinking. Over time, children apply their knowledge confidently and successfully to new situations, which results in feelings of pride and self-worth.
  • The Role of the Teacher: Teachers are facilitators who guide children’s thinking, document their ideas, and support them in their learning. They provoke skill development, deep thinking, and positive social interaction.
  • The Role of the Parents: We recognize that each family brings a unique perspective to the classroom and we welcome parents’ active participation in our program.
  • The Role of the Environment: The classroom environment reflects the values, beliefs and cultures of those who share it. Each area of the room and the materials housed there has a specific purpose. The design, color, and natural light are backdrops to feature the children’s work as the main attraction of the classroom setting.
  • The Power of Documentation: Documentation provides a visual record of the dynamic learning encounters that take place in the classroom. With this data, we can interpret children’s interests, feelings, and ideas and give value to their work. Documentation is a form of assessment and advocacy for each individual child.
  • Emergent Curriculum: Within this Early Learning Program, children’s interests and discoveries propel our curriculum. Our goal is to challenge children to generate their own ideas and theories, posing thought-provoking, open-ended questions. In keeping with our school’s overall philosophy, teachers integrate and encourage in-depth learning experiences.

The Early Learning Program will foster in children a love for learning and prepare them for a seamless transition into the current curricular programs offered from Grades K – 12. Children who will be four years of age on or before December 31 are eligible for ELP. Placement into our Kindergarten Class will be guaranteed upon successful completion of the program.

ELP operates from September until the end of June, based on the normal school calendar. Hours are 7:45 am – 5:30 pm. The instructional day is from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm. The program is located within the MSA campus. There is an optional six-week summer camp program in July and August.

For more information about Early Learning at MSA, please contact the school at 292-4134 to arrange a visit.

Early Learning Program


A Typical Day in ELP

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