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At ECDC, we believe the purpose of early childhood education is to help children become life-long, enthusiastic, and self-directed learners and responsible citizens. Current research refers to the particular set of cognitive skills needed for this development as "executive functions." (EF) Research also provides increasing evidence that EF levels are a better predictor of academic and personal success than traditional paper/pencil and academic skills-based tests, and that the birth to age five period is critical for acquisition. (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2011). Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function: Working Paper No. 11. Retrieved from;)

We believe that in an increasingly global environment, we learn these things in a community that celebrates both the things we share in common and the differences that make us each unique and interesting human beings. We believe that every child has special needs, so all children are accepted and welcomed at ECDC and fully included in all dimensions of our program.

Our philosophy is based on the belief that learning and language are socially constructed. The child acquires knowledge about the world through dramatic and loose parts play (Nicholson, 1972), the manipulation of materials and equipment, and the development of respectful and meaningful relationships with other children and adults. We consider the child an active participant in the learning experience.

We believe in shared responsibility for the education of young children. Families are our partners. We value parental input and often plan classroom activities around ideas, traditions, language, and the expertise and interests represented among our families. We respect children and their families as partners in the learning environment.

We believe the role of the early childhood teacher and all the adults who interact with our children on a daily basis is to:

  • identify and support children's interests
  • observe their growth and development
  • plan and facilitate activities appropriate to their interests and developmental levels
  • monitor, assess, interpret, and document their learning
  • respect and include families in the learning process
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