Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on early childhood education. It was developed by Loris Malaquzzi, who was a teacher himself, and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War-II. This led to the creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

Under the leadership of Loris Malaquzzi a group of educationists developed a philosophy that was influenced by the surrounding culture and based on a unique view of the child. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:

  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
  • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

Important Elements of Reggio Emilia Approach are:

The "Image of the Child"

– We believe that all children are competent and confident learners from birth and naturally inquisitive. We see children as individuals who need to be listened to carefully to ensure we meet their needs and passion for learning. We also believe that children achieve best when they are enjoying themselves and greatly believe in the value of learning though play, which is initiated by the children themselves.

The Environment as a third teacher

– Every corner, every space has a purpose. Natural light, shadow and reflections are explored within the environment. Furniture and equipment is designed to be multi-functional and easily accessible for all. The environment is designed to encourage independence and freedom of choice, where children can take a lead in their own play, learning and development.

Parents as Partners

– A big part of the approach is the community and parent relationships with the nursery. Parents are warmly welcomed to be involved with the nursery’s development as well as their child’s learning. Parents are encouraged to attend meetings, discussions and celebrations as well as events. Parents are expected to take an active role in their children’s play and learning both at home and within the nursery.

Long-term projects

– Children need opportunities and time to become engrossed with ideas and activities that interest them. It is through these interests that long term projects can evolve, extending children’s natural curiosity and interests as well as providing opportunities for developing children’s skills, knowledge and understanding. A project can last over a long period of time, weeks or months, and can be returned to as and when their interest dictates.


– Children’s learning and achievements are documented through careful observations, photos and annotations. Displays of photos and children’s artwork throughout the environment clearly demonstrates children’s learning journey within the nursery. Visual displays are an important learning tool for children as they reflect and revisit project work with more depth and understanding.

for further information on the Reggio Emilia Approach please refer to the following websites -