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Through a Child's Eyes

Kean University Childcare and Development Center

By Megan Lovelace
On March 3, 2012

The Kean University Child Care and Development Center was established in the mid 1970's to provide quality child care to the children of Kean University students. Today the program continues to fulfill this mission, providing care and education to the children of students, as well as of faculty and staff.

In conjunction with the Department of Early Childhood and Family Studies, in the College of Education, the Kean University Child Care and Development Center demonstrates best early childhood practice inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education, which was inspired by schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Reggio Emilia has a view of teachers as researchers and partners with children in the learning process.  It also has a strong value for the respect of children's time and rhythm in the daily life of the schools. Through long and short term projects, teachers; children; and parents become partners and researchers in the learning process. It also has the integration of the world outside into the school's learning.

The Kean Child Care and Development Center is Kean's best kept secret. Kathleen Berkowitz, the director of the Childcare and Development Center states, "The center is here! We are not a secret." The Child Care and Development Center is open to the public and has three classrooms. They take children from ages 2 ½ - 5 years old. They provide care, education, and developmental opportunities for children. They also hire graduate assistants to work at the center; moreover, two of them are Kean alumni .

"We respect young children. We value what they are learning and what they are thinking," States Berkowitz. The children at the center represent their thoughts, through drawing, painting, sculpting clay, and other mediums. The center would also like the Kean community to know organizations on campus can come to the center and help with the children. Berkowitz exclaims,  "We even had the football team come and read to the children."

The center also has big news about the coming fall. The center is now accepting applications for Kindergarten. Children must be five years old by Decemeber 31, 2012. The applications are open to students, faculty, and staff of Kean and to the public of the greater community. The classes are tuition based.

Children's minds absorb like sponges, and learning is necessary for their development process.  Through a child's eyes the world is full of colors and wonder. The Kean Child Care and Development Center does just that for children; they open their minds through creation and learning.


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