3 and 4 year old Preschool Fall Enrollment now open, ask about before and after care

4510 Todd Drive, Ames, IA 50014

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Programs & Curriculum in Ames

Formative Years Growing and Learning Center creates a loving, safe, and nurturing educational environment for all children in our care. Our developmentally based curriculum follows The Creative Curriculum which is uniquely designed by each teacher to meet their classroom needs and structured to teach young children the way they learn best: through play and hands-on activities. We make sure learning is fun for all children at every level!


Our programs meet the total needs of growing children in the areas of social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Our well-rounded curriculum includes art, sensory, music, language, math, motor, and dramatic play. The classrooms are set up in learning centers, which includes blocks, dramatic play, library and literacy, gross and fine motor, observational discovery, and art. Outdoor play is important to a child’s physical development and is included in both the morning and afternoon. We also provide learning opportunities outside the classroom with a variety of field trips around the community. We feel it is important to learn from and about being a part of our community.

We start in our infant rooms to build the foundation for success in each child’s education and life. Our programs are taught by trained staffed in all rooms. As your child advances through our center, they build upon these skills they learn as they grow and discover the world year after year. 

The Creative Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum objectives for development and learning span from birth through third grade. They enable our teachers to see  your children’s development and learning along a progression across the whole of the early childhood years.

The objectives cover 10 areas of development and learning, including broad developmental areas, content areas, and English language acquisition. Many objectives also include dimensions that guide our teachers’ thinking about various aspects of that objective and help clarify what it addresses in order to best serve your children while they are in our care.

Our Programs

Infant Rooms

Our brand new infant rooms feature small class sizes; we feel that each child’s needs are always the priority. 

The Discoverers are our 6 weeks to 12 month old children. Here, each child is introduced to the routine of being in a childcare facility. We focus on the very basics of learning to trust in caring adults, establish healthy schedules, and set the foundation for success for the future. 

The Explorers are our 12 to 24 month old children. Here, we introduce The Creative Curriculum in Ames. There are four main goals -- learning about self and others, moving, the world, and communicating. A key focus is an introduction to group learning skills as the children become comfortable with small and large group activities.

Two and Three Year Old Program

These are Creative Curriculum based learning environments with introductions to structured classroom play. Children learn foundational skills for early success and easy transition to pre-school. 

The Adventurers are our 2-year-old children. Here, the children continue the Creative Curriculum with more advanced goals and objectives. The main focus is discovering appropriate social skills and expanding on communication skills with peers and adults through structured play.    

The Navigators are our 3-year-old children. In this room, the children are introduced to the Creative Curriculum pre-school environment with learning and play incorporated throughout the day. The main focus is personal responsibility, problem solving, and literacy through organized play and group learning.

Four and Five Year Old Program

These classrooms are our preschool program; we feature a Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program that is a part of the Ames Public School district. These classes focus on school readiness with literacy and communication as the main objectives. 

The Inventors are our 4-year-old children. In this room, the children are solidifying the basics for school readiness through structured group and independent learning, a main focus on literacy, and continued social skills built into the daily structure.  

The Learners are our 4- to 5-year-old children. This room houses our Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program. Registration through the District is required, for more information, click the button below. Kindergarten preparation is the number one priority. Our students are consistently more than prepared for their first day of school.

School Age Program

The Scholars are our school age children. This classroom is a warm environment designed to encourage social and emotional development, while providing a space to learn before and after school. The students can work independently or with assistance on their school work, while practicing cooperation and respect. With a balance of structured time and free play, the children can create crafts, discover circuits, read books, and more. Our mixed age class allows for peer and mentor relationships to grow. 

Scholars' Day Camp 2018

We have a brand new summer day camp for Summer 2018! Join us for  summer long fun and education, tailored to school age children. Our calendar is full of trips to assorted parks, pools, and the surrounding communities. The children will have thought provoking experiences and get to see Iowa from different viewpoints. Check out our calendar for planned trips.