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Child Development Center

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The Classrooms

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At the CDC we offer enrollment for early childhood education to children from four months through 4 years 11 months of age in 4 programs: Infant, Toddler, and Preschool.

The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from early September to mid June. Professional, experienced, highly qualified teams of teachers dedicated to their work with young children guide the children. Classroom teams include teachers with a bachelor or master's degree and significant experience in Early Childhood Education. Each team includes at least one Facilitating Teacher who is responsible for direct supervision of academic students and college course instruction. Additional staff members include the Director, Office Manager, and Academic Program Coordinator.

We are committed to providing safe, nurturing environments where children, in mixed age groupings, can build positive relationships and a sense of community. We value and encourage children's natural curiosity. We emphasize warm and caring relationships and help the children develop a sense of trust and self-confidence. Children are given opportunities to explore their interests individually and within small and large groups, both in the classroom and out-of-doors.

Families provide all the food that infants are served. Older children bring their own lunches; snacks and beverages are provided. Children rest and nap after lunch. Outdoor play and /or excursions to get fresh air are a regular part of the day in all the programs.

Infant Classroom (4 - 16 months)

Our infant classroom provides children with a safe and nurturing environment in which to explore their newly developing skills and abilities. On-going, flexible goals are set for each child in the areas of health, safety, emotional well being, self-esteem, and developmental needs. We support children as they develop their large and small muscles; their language; their thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and memory; their social abilities; and their growing sense of self.

The Infant teachers develop close relationships with each baby over the course of the year. We strive to provide care that closely matches the care the child receives at home. Each child's schedule is based on their personal eating and sleeping patterns. The environment is planned to be comfortable and interesting, but not overwhelming, and safe for learning crawlers and walkers.

Six infants are enrolled each year. The infants and toddlers are in the same room; a half wall that children can see through and adults can see over separates the infant space. Occasionally a toddler will spend time in the infant space for some quiet play, likewise, an older infant might participate in an activity in the toddler space. There is an adjoining crib room in which each infant has their own crib.

The Infant curriculum emphasizes building relationships between caregivers and babies and caregivers and families. Predictable routines are established for eating, sleeping, play, and exploration. Their play (thoughtfully planned) supports development in language, use of the body, thinking, and use of the senses. Activities are set up on the floor, on blankets, so infants are free to explore. Books are always available for infants to look at on their own or with a teacher. Learning materials are chosen with consideration of children's comfort and safety, the materials' educational value, quality, infant appeal, and cultural diversity. They are sanitized daily. The curriculum includes daily outdoors times.

To allow infants to develop their own schedules, only full-time enrollment is available. Enrollment is limited, and priority is given to families that have an older child already enrolled in the CDC. Families may hold a spot for a child who is not four months by the end of August, by paying the full tuition for the year, although the child does not start until they are four months old.

Toddler Classroom (16 - 33 months)

Our Toddler classroom provides children with a safe and nurturing environment in which to explore their newly developing skills and abilities. On-going, flexible goals are set for each child in the areas of health, safety, emotional well-being, self-esteem, and other developmental needs. We support children as they develop their large and small muscles; their language; their thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and memory; their social abilities; their emotions; and their growing sense of self.

Eight toddlers are enrolled each year. A toddler is stable on his/her feet, and eager to explore and investigate the world. We have a spacious classroom with a variety of playful activities available to the children. The infants and toddlers are in the same room; a half wall that children can see through and adults can see over separates the Infant Space. Occasionally a toddler will spend time in the infant space for some quiet play, likewise, an older infant might participate in an activity in the toddler space.

The curriculum for toddlers emphasizes building relationships between caregivers and toddlers and caregivers and families. Also, opportunities and support to play with other children, helping them build relationships with one another are important. The Toddler classroom includes a large motor area for running, climbing, dancing and riding toys, and areas for manipulatives, books, dramatic play and creative art materials, all of which are available for children to choose throughout the day. Sensory experiences such as water play are a frequent offering as well. At our group time we sing songs and read stories. Outdoor play and excursions to get fresh air are a regular part of the day. Children are actively involved in their play, which sometimes means getting messy. Teachers respond to children's interests and initiative in their planning of developmentally appropriate activities.

Preschool Classrooms (33 - 59 months)

We have two preschool classrooms, each serving children ages 2.9-5 in a multi-aged model. Each classroom has a group-size of 16. Learning is promoted through play. There is a focus on building respectful, caring relationships between teachers and children, with families, and among children. Teachers acknowledge and appreciate that children progress in their learning through different paths and at different speeds. We value and support children's unique learning styles and strengths.

There is a structure to the day and planning behind materials and activities presented that allows children choice while supporting age-appropriate learning goals. An individualized approach to the development of literacy and numeracy skills is utilized.

Children within this age range are active learners and need to move about their environment and engage with a variety of materials. Choice and involvement with others are important ingredients in their learning.

The curriculum in both classrooms offers art, music, blocks, large motor and movement activities, math, books, science, writing, and group time on a daily basis. The specific choices are planned around season themes as well as designed to respond to children's individual interests. Themes of study based on children's ideas are often part of the week's activities. Outdoor play is built into each day. Children have time to work individually, in small groups and as a large group throughout the day.


National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

NAEYC Videos

Contact the CDC

CDC Office
Tara Kavanagh
603-358-2233

CDC Director
Ellen Edge
603-358-2232

Academic Program Coordinator
and Associate Director

Deirdre McPartlin
603-358-2244

Child Development Center
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435

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