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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 Early Childhood Center (JCECC) 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 JCECC 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’s degree in Early Childhood Education. The Center employs an Assistant Director who oversees curriculum among classrooms and assists with all center operations. The Assistant Director holds an Associates degree in Early Childhood. Lead teacher education ranges from a minimum of 60 college credit hours toward a degree in early childhood/elementary education to a Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching. Assistant teachers are utilized in the classrooms to provide support for the lead teachers as well as manage the classroom in their absence.. Assistants education range from 6 college credit hours to completion of an Associate degree. Their coursework includes early childhood and/or education classes.
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.
College students are employed as classroom aides 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 screened for child abuse/neglect through the Family Care Safety registry (FSCR) and Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS). The screenings are filed in the office and may be viewed by the parents.