College of Education - Early Childhood Demonstration Center
The Early Childhood Demonstration Center curriculum is aligned to the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards of Quality. The early childhood program provides developmentally appropriate activities and materials with a thematic unit approach. Units of study are coordinated by teachers and are often generated by the children’s interests. We provide a balance of active and quiet activities, individual, small and large group activities, child-initiated and adult-initiated activities, and indoor and outdoor play activities.
Learning centers provide children opportunities to explore, experiment, discover, create, and ask questions. Our learning centers give children multiple opportunities to plan and carry out activities at a center of their choice. Children are presented the opportunity to learn from all domains of learning to include:
- Social Emotional Development
- Health, Safety, and Physical Education
- Language Arts Literacy
- Social Studies
- World Languages
ECDC utilizes The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool, a research-based curriculum, which is inclusive of all children. Creative Curriculum® online planning and assessment tools provide numerous ways to track and assess student progress throughout the school year. The assessment tool enables teachers to take observation notes on students and record this information utilizing an online assessment system. It allows teachers to compare and track developmental and academic milestones. It also allows teachers to create student portfolios. Progress Checkpoints are also a major part of Creative Curriculum’s® assessment in the classroom. Progress Checkpoints are comparable to a map which guides both parents and teachers through a child’s school year.
The early childhood program is enriched through planned field trips that reflect our units of study throughout the school year and summer months. Field trips provide children firsthand experiences and enrich overall learning.
Parent permission slips will be provided for all field trips. Chaperones are welcome.
Examples of field trip experiences include: trips to local farms, museums, aquariums and walking trips on campus.
A walking field trip permission form for routine walk around campus is included in the enrollment packet provided at registration. Please sign this form to indicate your child’s participation in walking field trips. When walking to and from the Center on routine field trips, the following procedures will apply:
- The portable first aid box will accompany the group
- The emergency care form for each child and notification of any allergic reactions will accompany the group
The integration of the College of Education’s Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program in the Center’s regular operation provides exciting enrichment opportunities. Students from various disciplines in the University participate in the program through observation, fieldwork and service learning opportunities.
Parent and Community Involvement
A family oriented philosophy is an integral part of our early childhood program. The Early Childhood Demonstration Center recognizes that a child’s educational success is a responsibility shared between the school and home. It is the goal of the preschool program to establish a collaborative relationship between home and school.
The Center has an open door policy for parents. Parents are welcome to visit our classroom at any time and we encourage you to actively participate in the program through volunteering, reading aloud to children, and chaperoning field trips.
Our communication with parents is facilitated through monthly activity calendars, newsletters, parent teacher conferences, and other special events throughout the school year. Weekly lesson plans and upcoming activities are posted outside the classroom.
Parent Teacher conferences are scheduled mid-year and at the end of the school year. Progress reports and progress folios are reviewed to show each child’s growth and development during the school year. We are happy to schedule meetings at any time upon family request.
Meals, Snacks, and Nap time
Meals and snack time are an integral part of the learning experience for young children. Children receive adequate nutrition and health education as part of the early childhood experience. The Center serves a nutritious breakfast and snack twice daily to students enrolled on a full time, half time and hourly basis.
Part of the Center’s role is to promote healthful eating choices, just as you do at home. All meals and other foods served at the Center reflect a nutrition philosophy consistent with the U.S. Dietary Goals and follow regulations of state licensing requirements.
Food allergies must be reported to the school office during registration.
Special dietary needs
Any special diet needs or allergies should be discussed with your child’s teacher and noted on your child’s emergency card.
The Center provides children the opportunity to rest or play quietly for one hour per day following lunch. Children may bring a small stuffed toy from home along with a blanket and sheet (fitted crib sheets work best).