College Child Development Centre
Quality child care for the college and community.
The College Child Development Centre (CCDC) is a non-profit child care centre operated by the College Child Care Society of Medicine Hat whose purpose is:
- To provide optimum quality child care services for the children of students, faculty and staff of Medicine Hat College and children from the community at large. Essential components of the child care service are care, protection, education, health supervision, and parent and community participation in planning and co-ordination.
- To make available a setting whereby research and demonstration practices in child care services can be carried on with accepted educational practices and research methodology, using college instructors and trained research personnel for consultation and conducting studies.
All parents and guardians of children enrolled in the CCDC are members of the College Child Care Society and are encouraged to be involved.
Ages 19 - 35 months
Toddler care (children from 19 to 35 months of age) takes place primarily in one room with easy and direct access to outdoor play areas. Small groups of toddlers are cared for by up to two adults.
The emphasis in the toddler program is on meeting their needs to exercise their independence safely and appropriately, in relation to their increasing physical, language and cognitive abilities. Needs to explore and understand themselves and their world are encouraged through make-believe play and by the inclusion of creative experiences including art, music, and stories. As children begin to play and interact together, staff provide models and verbal suggestions to help them do so in appropriate ways, and begin to involve children in planning their experiences.
Three, four, five and six-year-old children are cared for primarily in two rooms with easy and direct access to outdoor play areas. Emphasis in these rooms is focused on the children's needs to further refine their social skills, to take more initiative in their actions and interactions, and to build and maintain positive and healthy self-esteem. As a result, children are provided with many opportunities to make decisions and to become engaged in play and other projects which interest them.
Children may be enrolled in the program if they are between the ages of 19 months and 7 years of age, and if there is space available within the appropriate age group. When the upper limit is reached for the centre, or for a particular age group, a waitlist is created.
Priority for enrolment from the wait list is first come, first served, except that siblings of children already attending the program will normally receive priority for admission in the interest of family continuity, and the following order of priority will be given to:
- student parents
- college employees
- community families
Please note that parents on the waitlist who turn down a vacant space may be removed from a priority level on that list.
Practices at the centre are based on a series of beliefs about children: about what is necessary for their healthy growth and development and about the importance of their relationships with family, friends and caregivers.
Children's needs range from the essential basics of security, safety, shelter, food and love to their needs for challenge, opportunity to learn about themselves, opportunity to interact with peers and adults as well as their environment, and opportunities to construct their own understanding of their world and their place within it.
We believe that children construct knowledge as they go about their daily lives. Development and learning occur through children's interactions with both the physical environment (toys and materials) and people (peers and adults). Development and learning also occur when children are actively engaged in experiences that expand and challenge their thinking and their knowledge. These beliefs provide the premise for our focus on providing play opportunities for children at the centre. We believe that play provides opportunities for the development of:
Intrinsic motivation: That is that children become engaged in learning that is meaningful to them, rather than in activities that someone else thinks is good for them.
Child initiation: That children's curiosity is aroused when they experience making choices, such as those available to them in play.
Child Direction: That children benefit from deciding the ways in which they will use materials or experiences to satisfy their interests, to answer their questions, and to add to their knowledge.
Risk taking: All learning involves taking risks and making mistakes. Children need to feel free to take such risks and to venture into unknown areas. Play, which often occurs in a world of make-believe, provides safe situations for such exploration.
Children's response to challenge: Adults facilitate play situations in which children are confronted with information and challenges that are new to them. Children will also create these situations in their play in order to better understand their world.
The process of becoming: Active involvement in play involves experimentation, observing, thinking, problem-solving, and creating - sometimes alone and sometimes with others. These processes are important to the development of children.
- Self-regulation: Play provides opportunity for children to 'try-on' other roles and to interact with others. It also provides and opportunity for children to experience positions of leadership and of follower.
In addition to self-initiated play, the program is based on beliefs that children learn from one another and from models provided by adults. As a result, caregivers in the centre work closely with parents and guardians in providing children with the social interactions and the adult models of behaviour that will enhance their development.
The College Child Development Centre is located on the west end of the college campus at 299 College Drive SE. The CCDC is housed in a single free-standing building and provides space for 43 children.
For more information, please call 403.504.3694.