The mission of the Center for Young Children and Families is to provide a high quality early childhood program to young children and their families. A high quality program is identified by its ability to offer comprehensive learning experiences through a planned environment. A child development center is not a “day care” in the traditional sense of the idea. Child care is only one component of the program. Within the Center environment, the developmental needs of children are planned for in a consistent and secure setting offering developmentally appropriate practices. As part of the Early Childhood Studies Department at Plymouth State University, the Center is a model early childhood program for the training of students in the fields of early childhood studies and child development.
The Center for Young Children and Families offers developmentally-based programs that focus on the needs of the whole child—physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and familial. All staff members recognize the importance of teacher-child interactions and strive to establish and maintain warm and trusting relationships with children and their families. Activities and routines at the Center are based on sound developmental practices and build on children’s natural curiosity and problem-solving abilities. Children participate in many play and language activities and have the opportunities to work and play in small and large groups and individually. Our child-centered philosophy reflects an understanding of the needs of young children in a complex society. Our program seeks to serve all children, including young children with disabilities.
The Center for Young Children and Families offers four programs for children ranging in age from approximately 13 months (as of September 1) to six years old: Toddler, Early Preschool, Preschool, and Pre K/Kindergarten. Please review the descriptions and goals of each program, included at the end of this handbook.