The Child Development Center (CDC) is a community outreach program that provides an educational program to preschoolers at First Presbyterian Church. The school’s enrollment is limited to eighty children, ages twelve months to five years, and the school is in session for the entire year. Its program is open to those of all faiths, provides a learning environment that fosters a child’s gaining self-confidence, and is sensitive to the child’s social and intellectual needs, as well as those of the group. The school works with the agency of Children, Youth, and Families Department of Santa Fe to provide a quality-based program that accommodates the needs of children in the greater Santa Fe area with its economically diverse population.
More specifically, the school provides developmentally age-appropriate, child-centered programs that focus on the process of learning through play and discovery. A typical day includes activities associated with art, music, creative movement, stories, learning centers, playground activities, and social interactions. The instructional setting provides opportunities for free play, guided play, and skill mastery. Activities are designed to inspire and build confidence in each child.
The staff includes a director, twelve full-time teachers, and two part-time teachers. All teachers are licensed and experienced early childhood educators. The school is currently licensed through the State of New Mexico’s Children, Youth & Families Department Prevention & Intervention Division Child Care Services Bureau, License #106952, and complies with applicable state licensing regulations and requirements. The center is subject to inspection by state and city health, fire, licensing, and building agencies.
The school is well recognized with its having passed the Department of Labor’s audit and the University of New Mexico’s Four-Star Evaluation program. During 2017 the school is pursuing a five-star national accreditation mark with the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This accreditation body operates on a national level to support programs providing the highest quality of education and child care to children in a center-based environment. The process includes an unannounced accreditation visit by the association, which is taking place this year, and the staff’s documenting over 800 quality indicators, including staff education, quality curriculum implementation, and community and parent involvement in the program.