Child Development Center
Waukesha County Technical College's Child Development Center (CDC) offers young children - ages 6 weeks though 8 years - a safe, warm environment that nurtures the whole child. It is an atmosphere where children can learn, grow and thrive. As a model laboratory school, the CDC strives to ensure the care and education each child receives aligns with early childhood best practices.
Three foundations comprise the CDC program and environment:
- Parents as Partners Teaching begins with getting to know the child, and the child's family. Families are an integral part of the program, and strong teacher-family partnerships promote children's learning.
- Teaching Lab The CDC serves as a laboratory school for WCTC's Early Childhood Education associate degree program students and other related disciplines. This integration raises the adult/child ratio, brings in fresh ideas and keeps WCTC at the forefront of the early childhood education field. As a lab, the CDC has an obligation to provide model early care and education programs for the community that reflect the known indicators for quality.
- Community Collaboration As the African proverb states, "It takes a village to raise the child." Therefore, creating collaborations with school districts, community organizations and children/family advocacy groups is critical to the CDC's mission.
What - and How - We Teach
Children learn best by doing. CDC classrooms are rich with discovery allowing children to be active participants and creative explorers in the world around them. The center's goal is to guide children to become engaged learners in a warm, joyful environment. Daily routines blend a balance of active and quiet activities with structured and unstructured experiences - all of which allow for social-emotional, cognitive and physical development.
The program offers daily opportunities for individualized instruction, helping teachers meet the needs of each child based upon their own development and learning style.
Classroom size: eight infants with two teachers
- Serves children ages 6 weeks to 15 months.
- Nurtures a child's social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language development.
- Provides a safe, healthy and loving environment in which children can explore at their own schedule.
- Features individual care plans, with insight from parents, for each child. These vary dramatically from one child to another.
- Offers nurturing, loving one-on-one attention, regular feedings and naps.
- Provides daily logs to parents regarding the child's day.
Classroom size: eight children with two teachers
- Serves children ages 15 months to 2.5 years.
- Has a more routine schedule than the infant program.
- Focuses on refining skills, learning routines through structure and learning how to communicate one's own feelings.
- Focuses on a more time-specific schedule with regular daily activities.
- Provides children with independent play and group activities.
- Promotes independence at meal time using utensils and cups.
- Offers planned rest time; activities in interest areas allowing children to engage in sensory, gross and fine motor play; and opportunities for art, cognitive and language skill-building.
- Provides daily reports to parents about the child's day.
Classroom size: 16 children with two teachers
- Serves children ages 2.5 to 3.5 years.
- Teaches children how to get along well with others and to become enthusiastic learners.
- Nurtures children to become independent, self-confident and curious learners who can work well with others and participate in group.
- Promotes purposeful and productive play experiences that build on child development. Play interest areas include block, library, dramatic play and housekeeping, manipulatives, science, sensory and art.
- Builds on skills children have mastered but also provides opportunities to challenge, practice and improve new skills.
- Focuses on self-help and practical life skills. Children eat family style as a group and serve their own meals, dress and undress themselves for outdoors and work on independent toileting skills.
Classroom size: 15 children with two teachers
- Serves children ages 3.5 to 5 years.
- Is based on a Constructivist theory of teaching and learning: a belief that children learn from meaningful experiences that occur naturally in a social, well-planned environment.
- Features activities, discovery centers and projects that are based on the children's individual developmental needs and interests.
- Promotes small- and large-group play.
- Encourages play through discovery centers including dramatic play, art, literacy/writing, and sensory to explore science, and a mathematical area to manipulate objects and gain math and numeracy skill.
- Provides children with a successful "Leap Start" into school.
Classroom size: 20 children with two teachers. Important note: Children must be 4 years old by Sept. 1 and attend five days a week to enroll in this program.
- Is a community partner site for the Pewaukee School District four-year-old kindergarten program.
- Is free to Pewaukee School District residents; available to non-resident families for a fee.
- Offers a half-day, a.m. 4K session (8:35 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.) with a before and after school child care option for working families. (This option limits the number of transitions children need to make and provides the consistency in adult caregivers which is important to young children.)
- Follows the same curriculum and assessment as the Pewaukee School District and is taught by a state licensed kindergarten teacher.
- Provides children with hands-on opportunities that foster social/emotional and cognitive growth; large and fine motor skills; and language, early literacy and numeracy development.
About Our Staff
Our highly qualified and dedicated teachers hold degrees in early childhood education, elementary education or child development. They are devoted to life-long learning and are encouraged to be active leaders in the field through continuing education and mentorship opportunities.
The CDC is committed to continuity of staff and has a high teacher-to-child ratio. Student workers, practicum students, Early Childhood faculty and volunteers supplement staffing and enhance the program. All staff has pediatric first aid and CPR training.
- AAS, Early Childhood Education, Waukesha County Technical College
- BS, Carroll University, Elementary Educational Studies
"In my classroom, I strive to provide an environment that is balanced with child-guided activities, teacher-directed lessons and individualized skill building. This balance within the classroom gives early learners the opportunity to develop and grow to their fullest potential. As an early childhood educator, I am inspired daily by the unique and special qualities of each child. The children's love for learning encourages my own desire to be a lifelong learner and explore new innovative learning strategies that I can implement within my classroom."
- AAS, Early Childhood Education, Waukesha County Technical College
"As an early childhood teacher, I see my role as that of facilitator. I provide children with a rich learning environment, activities to enhance their strengths, and opportunities to grow and develop. I want the children in my care to feel safe to explore as they discover the world around them. My goal is that each family knows they are welcome and appreciated. There are many things I enjoy about teaching, but perhaps most importantly is what I learn from the children I work with each day."
- BA, Elementary Education-Social Studies, Trinity International University
"I believe children learn best through play, and as a teacher, I am to guide them in their various experiences as they play. My favorite moment when working with toddlers is when they connect what they have learned with what they are experiencing and the excitement on their faces."
- AAS, Waukesha County Technical College, Early Childhood Education
- AAS, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Interpreter Technician
- BA, Education PreK-6th grade, Lakeland College
"My role as an educator is to engage the eager minds of children through an encouraging, positive environment. I take pride in my classroom and value the importance of laughter and creativity. I firmly believe children learn best when given the opportunity to explore the world around them in a hands-on approach. I encourage children to use their senses to explore their environment inside and outside of the classroom. A child’s enjoyment over the smallest things in life is my inspiration."
- BS, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education
"My teaching philosophy is to provide a safe and exciting environment for children to explore and grow. I want children to learn through play and move into the future with a positive attitude toward school."