Mission and Philosophy


The Center has a prioritized three-fold mission to provide:

  1. A responsive, developmental full day program for young children of families affiliated with the University,
  2. Professional training for undergraduate and graduate students, and
  3. A facility that supports opportunities for collaboration, which will increase the knowledge and understanding of children’s development.

Program Philosophy and Curriculum

  • The center provides a developmentally-based program in an environment designed especially for young children.
  • We work to develop caring, respectful, and responsive relationships with children from infancy through preschool by partnering with families to support a child’s growth and development.
  • Respect for each child’s individualized pattern and timing of growth, as well as individual personality, learning style, interests, culture, logic and family background are central to the fabric of daily interactions and the direction the curriculum follows.
  • The staff support each child’s disposition to learn while (1) facilitating their learning and (2) fostering competencies in all domains, including intellectual, physical, social and emotional development.
  • We value the interaction between the individual and environment, seeing it as the basis for more complex learning and growth. Children come to own newfound understanding and knowledge when it is integrated into their daily experiences and existing paradigms in active and meaningful ways. This social constructivist philosophy forms the basis for our curriculum and our emphasis on all aspects of the environment.
  • The schedule and space is structured to allow children to pace themselves and select activities based on their individual needs. Knowledge is not given to children; they learn through playful and meaningful interactions with materials and people. This means that each child processes experiences uniquely. Teachers adapt and plan curriculum in response to this dynamic character of learning for young children.