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Welcome to the Jefferson College Early Childhood Center. We look forward to becoming acquainted with you and your family. Our website provides a lot of information, but please contact us if you have questions, or stop by for a visit. You will be able to see why Jefferson College is so proud of the program that serves its youngest students.


Jefferson College has provided child care on campus since 1974.  In 1983, in order to better meet the needs of the students, faculty and staff, a stand alone facility (designed by the Jefferson College Architectural  Drafting students and built by the Building Trades students), was completed to house the Child Development Center. The increase in capacity allowed for the enrollment of children from the community. In 1999, an additional classroom, funded by the Missouri Preschool Project, was included in the building of the Area Technical School (ATS). In 2019, the Center underwent a renovation to update the main building utilizing funds granted through a capital project request in 2017.

From the inception of the Early Childhood AAS Degree and the ATS Early Childhood programs, the Child Development Center has been utilized extensively as a model observation, lab and practicum site. Students from other disciplines, such as the Allied Health programs and Social Sciences, utilize the Center for activities as well. Students from other disciplines, such as the Nursing, utilize the Center for activities as well.

The program has consistently followed the research on how young children learn best. Constructivism and developmentally appropriate practice remain strong components of the program that are in turn modeled to the adult learner. The goal is for this "best practice" to  continue out in the community as students gain employment in other child care programs or school districts.


The purpose of the Jefferson College Early Childhood Center is to provide a comprehensive, high quality care and education program for preschool and school age children, ages 2 through 12.

The Center also serves as a laboratory setting for Area Technical School and College Students enrolled in early childhood education coursework or other curricula related to the care and education of young children. Students are provided an opportunity to observe and interact with young children as part of their course work.

It is the program’s intent to instruct and model for students the theoretical knowledge of learning and human behavior, attitudes that foster learning, knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices, and a repertoire of teaching skills that can effectively impart knowledge to the young child.


Program philosophy is based on commitment to core values that are deeply rooted in the field of early childhood education. The program adheres to the tenets of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Code of Ethical Conduct that is as follows:

  • Appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of the human life cycle.
  • Base work with children on knowledge of child development.
  • Appreciate and support the close ties between the child and family.
  • Recognize that children are best understood in the context of family, culture and society.
  • Respect the uniqueness, dignity, and worth of each individual.
  • Help children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust, respect and positive regard


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