The Center utilizes a “community” approach to instruction which capitalizes on teacher strengths and differences. Members of the staff work with children individually and in age groupings, each teacher seeking rapport with each child in the center. The CDC seeks to work with the Greenville County School District so that children may experience a successful transition into public school following their preschool experience.
To this end, the staff maintains accurate records of the children’s progress in all areas of growth. Parents may take this record to the public school in which their child is enrolled.
The staff of the Furman Child Development Center believes that all children grow and learn in unique ways. The program strives to meet each child’s needs through an individualized approach to learning which stresses the child’s active participation in the development of projects that focus on the whole child. The CDC utilizes teaching strategies that incorporate all areas of learning into meaningful, real-world projects that are based on the children’s interests. Every day the children are involved in making choices about the activities and materials they use. The learning areas are structured to incorporate various developmental levels as well. Children’s learning occurs naturally through play and teachers carefully guide children through age-appropriate activities, seeking to move them along sequentially and successfully.
The staff believes that young children learn best in safe and nurturing environments in which they take some ownership. The CDC is located in a house for this very important philosophical reason. The children do take ownership of their “Little Furman” and take an active role in cleaning up, helping others, and even preparing snacks at times. They are very comfortable in the established environment. The staff also believes that part of the home-like setting is the multi-age approach to learning. The children spend time together each day in mixed-age groupings. The younger children learn from the older children and the older children become “teachers” to the younger children. It is very natural, almost like in a family environment. The CDC recognizes the important role family plays in each child’s development. The center maintains that parents are a child’s first and most important teachers and encourages parental participation, visitation, and communication. Weekly newsletters provide information about that week’s curriculum and upcoming events. Formal conferences are held twice a year and as requested by either the parent or the teacher.
The Child Development Center serves children ages three to six. Children must be three by September 1 in order to be enrolled for that school year. Older children are eligible to stay through kindergarten and can enter first grade directly from the CDC.
All children must be successfully potty-trained before entering school. This means that children should be able to express to the staff their need to go to the bathroom. Having to periodically place children on the potty without notice or relying on pull-ups is not considered potty-trained.