Quality Care and Education
Each child develops in his/her own way. However, every child needs certain skills to successfully function in the world. The goals of our program are:
- To provide children with an environment in which they learn to express their ideas and feelings.
- To provide children with opportunities to become self-regulating, self-directing and self-confident.
- To provide children with a love of learning through exploration and discovery.
- To provide children with appropriate social skills through interactions with peers and adults.
- To promote respect for self and others.
- To build strong bodies and promote habits of a healthy lifestyle.
The Jefferson College Child Development Center (JCCDC) is committed to pursuing "constructivism" as a model educational approach that has dramatically expanded teachers' understanding of how young children grow and learn. Missouri's "Project Construct" is a research-based curriculum that stresses problem solving skills, knowledge of the physical world, and independence. This curriculum framework is adapted and utilized by lead teachers for planning with all age groups.
In this educational philosophy, children are viewed as eager learners who "construct" their own knowledge, continually building on what they already know. All lead teachers complete Project Construct curriculum training.
Teachers in Project Construct classrooms strive to:
- Use students’ interests to motivate and engage them in learning.
- Encourage children to collaborate and work together.
- Allow children to take initiative, express opinions, and make choices.
- View children’s errors as learning opportunities.
- Assess children’s thinking, as well as their work, in order to teach more effectively.
The Missouri Early Learning Standards include the areas of literacy, math, and science, social-emotional and physical development. Teachers access and utilize these standards which align with the Project Construct goals to prepare a well-rounded, developmentally appropriate program for your child.
As educators, we accept the responsibility to model respect, kindness, cooperation, humor, a love of investigative learning, and a joy for community interaction.
The daily schedule provides a balance of free and directed play, as well as active and quiet, large and small group play both indoors and outdoors. The daily schedule allows for long periods of time for center-based activities that focus on math, language, writing, art, science, blocks, sensory exploration, music, reading, and dramatic play. The daily schedule, individualized class schedules and lesson plans are posted for parents in each classroom.
The JCCDC staff members include educators with extensive, but diverse educational backgrounds and experience in the field of early childhood. The Center’s director has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development and a Master of Science degree in Education. The Center employs a Curriculum Coordinator who assists in the office and oversees curriculum among classrooms. The Coordinator has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science degree in Education. Lead teacher education ranges from a minimum of 60 college credit hours toward a degree in early childhood/elementary education to a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Administrative staff and lead teachers complete Project Construct curriculum training and are in a continuous process of building teaching strategies and skills by attending classes, workshops, and conferences concerning the care, development and education of children.
Students (high school and college), enrolled in the early childhood instructional program, utilize the Center as a laboratory facility for training in early childhood care and education. During the course of their educational path they learn observation methods and are assigned specific classrooms where they learn to plan, prepare and guide appropriate activities. These students work under the supervision of regular staff members at all times.
College students are employed as classroom assistants and must meet the health, safety and education requirements of state licensing and accreditation. Their degree of classroom involvement is determined by their level of experience and education.
Employees must meet the health and safety criteria established by Missouri licensing regulations. Such employees are registered with the Family Care Safety Registry, meaning that they have been screened for child abuse/neglect and have had a criminal record check/background screening. The screenings are filed in the office and may be viewed by the parents.