Early Childhood


The Early Childhood Program provides a highly visual environment that is rich in learning opportunities and offers accessible language to all of our preschool and kindergarten students. Our goal is that young children with different hearing levels and their parents learn to communicate well with each other through using and understanding American Sign Language along with English to help parents and young children enjoy each other and their growing relationship. We believe that initial exposure to accessible language is critical for the development of future skills. Each child’s unique communication needs are continually assessed as language develops.

To respond to each child’s natural learning and to encourage critical thinking, RISD infuses early learning with the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values each child as “strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge.” Each deaf and hard of hearing child is so much more than their hearing level. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.

RISD’s Early Childhood Program is committed to encouraging growth of the whole child and fostering natural language development through providing many rich and varied experiences to explore.