The Child Development Center (CDC) at Our Lady of the Lake University aims to give each child an enriching, safe and happy experience.
St. Martin Hall Child Development Center
is now enrolling
Licensed by TDFPS
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The center operates under the philosophy that children have two ages – chronological and developmental. The chronological age designates how much time has passed since birth. The developmental age recognizes a child’s level of learning. The developmental age is of greater important to the staff at the CDC.
There have been many theories and teaching methods used in the past, but most recent research and experience shows that children develop and learn best in an environment that addresses the entire child. This whole child concept means attention must be paid to four aspects of the child.
At the Child Development Center, we are committed to developing each child's cognitive, emotional, social and physical being. Each of these categories is nurtured at a developmentally appropriate time. For example, our younger children are encouraged to use language, share feelings, interact with their peers and utilize their gross motor abilities. We do not attempt to teach these young children to read or write. Yes, some actually may be able to do such tasks with a great deal of drill and practice, but such methods are not developmentally appropriate.
Similarly, our more mature children reasonably may be encouraged to categorize according to color or shape, to arrange items in left-to-right order or to read a book to their peers and make one of their own in preparation for reading and writing.
We encourage social and emotional skills by helping them verbalize happiness or anger through play-acting. We also focus on fine motor abilities at this stage. Formal approaches to learning come more easily to the older child, require less work and are much more fun and rewarding. How do we accomplish this? First, through exposure to an enriched environment. The CDC has a fine physical environment. Each learning area is equipped and arranged in a manner appropriate for the age of the children. We use the "center" concept in which books, tapes and visual aids are in one comfortable, inviting area of the classroom. Our Creative Art corner includes easels, paints, chalks, crayons and other art or craft materials appropriate for each age group. A block area helps children develop physical, cognitive and social skills. Other centers contribute to the rich environment your child will be enjoying every day.
Second, we balance free play with structured activities. Our group of younger children has a flexible structure because their attention span is shorter. They need varied and open-ended activity. The older child may be quite content to sit at story time for 15 or 20 minutes-listening, "reading" and discussing experiences with an adult or peers. All children need to be allowed to make choices they are encouraged to do so here.
Third, we believe outdoor play is necessary for all children. Our playground provides opportunities to children for appropriate gross motor activity every day. As the children develop motor skills they also learn turn-taking, negotiating skills, and self-confidence. They can also use their outside voices to their hearts' content.
Finally, our staff are an important part of the environment. Our teachers are trained to understand and act upon the developmental view of learning. They have practiced and have been in the early childhood field for many years. Annually, they attain continued training hours above and beyond those recommended and mandated by the Texas Department and Family Protective Services. They will give your child freedom to explore but will be there to guide when appropriate. They assure that each child is treated with love and respect by adults and peers and help children to learn those traits as well. They see to it that all the children are exposed to positive learning possibilities in all four areas--cognitive, social, emotional and physical.
We are committed to do our best to supplement, the parents--the child's first and most enduring teacher-- to carry out this philosophy.
Our Lady of the Lake University
411 S.W. 24th Street
San Antonio, TX 78207
* Licensed by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services