The Child Development Center (CDC) is focused on the needs of the children. Each child:
- Receives intellectual stimulation
- Is given opportunities to learn and think independently and solve problems
- Develops a positive self-concept
- Participates in an environment that is responsive to his or her needs and interests
- Learns to appreciate his or her culture.
- Has many positive opportunities to interact with peers and adults
Children are selected on a "first come, first served" basis. Enrollment is open to all 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children. Children who are enrolled are allowed to continue in the program until they enter school. Children's names are entered on a list when the CDC staff members receives a completed application. Applications for enrollment are taken throughout the year. The fall and summer enrollment lists are determined during the previous spring. Extra children are placed on a waiting list and enrolled as openings occur. Each child must have an immunization record on file.
The CDC observes the same holidays and vacations as ENMU students. The program operates in fall, spring and summer terms Monday–Friday 7:45 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
Children must be enrolled on a five-day per week schedule. Staggered schedules such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday will not be allowed unless the family agrees to pay the regular five-day rate. All children must be enrolled in the morning session, and should be at the center by 9 a.m. Afternoon enrollment is optional, but no child may enroll for the afternoon session only.
Family involvement in the early childhood program is strongly encouraged. To stay in contact with families, we offer newsletters, family meetings and family night activities. The teachers will meet individually with families to discuss a child's progress. Feel free to request individual conferences at any time during the school year.
The center has an observation booth that is open at all times to families so that they may observe the program and their child. The observation booth is also open to selected classes and visiting groups interested in early childhood education. Families are invited to participate in the classroom as volunteers. Volunteers may be involved on a regular basis or may participate as special visitors. Families also participate in special activities including field trips and celebrations.
Personnel for the CDC include a director, two masterteachers, and a kitchen master who are associated with the program throughout the year. The director is an instructor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and Agriculture. The master teachers have special training in early childhood education. Their roles include developing curriculum, planning and directing the daily program activities, working with the children, and supervising lab and student workers.
ENMU students are also involved in the program. These students are enrolled in student teaching practicums or laboratory experiences for early childhood education courses.