We promote the growth and development of all children and families through supportive education in a safe, nurturing and accepting environment.
Campbell Child & Family Center’s program is based on developmentally-appropriate practices as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in their mission statement:
- Appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of the human life cycle.
- Base our work on knowledge of how children develop and learn.
- Appreciate and support the bond between the child and family.
- Recognize that children are best understood and supported in the context of family, culture, community, and society.
- Respect the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each individual (child, family member, and colleague).
- Respect diversity in children, families, and colleagues.
- Recognize that children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust and respect.
We respect families as the child’s first teachers and understand our primary role is to support each unique family and culture. We not only care about the educational enrichment and daily needs of each child, but also the needs of individual families we serve. Open communication between staff and families is vital for building a healthy partnership to ensure optimal growth of the children in our center.
Purpose of Campbell Child & Family Center
Our objective is to:
- Create and model an environment which allows for a high quality early care and education program for families of Fort Lewis College students, faculty/staff and community. This includes serving and meeting the needs of diverse populations while providing a strategic framework, which addresses priorities of family involvement, quality curriculum, program planning, and trained classroom teachers.
- Provide opportunities for Fort Lewis College students to satisfy their educational requirements and prepare them to work professionally with children in a variety of settings. Campbell Child & Family Center works to provide a unique learning opportunity for students in multiple disciplines.
- Provide families the opportunity to observe their children at any time during the day.
Teacher as Primary Caregiver in Toddler Classrooms
Setting up a system of primary caregiving establishes an environment in which meaningful and lasting relationships can develop between caregivers and children as well as between caregivers and families. These relationships rest on satisfying relationships within the care giving team, which call to mind the principle of continuity of care.
All the children in our center will have a Primary Caregiver. The primary-caregiver system ensures that every child has a “special” teacher and that each parent has a primary contact.
Having a primary caregiver gives children a secure base. They learn to trust someone familiar who will care for them as they explore and who will be there to comfort them when they are tired, upset, or frightened. Their relationship with a primary caregiver helps children feel secure enough to relate to other adults in the child care setting.
The teachers in each room divide the group of children (theoretically, not literally) so each child has a primary caregiver. This person forms a caring, nurturing, and responsive relationship with your child. In the classroom this teacher will be the “expert” on your child, knowing pertinent information like your child’s individual schedule, sleeping habits, individual interests, developmental abilities, and special needs. This teacher will do ongoing observations and create your child’s portfolio. Parents will have a parent conference each fall and spring semester with their child’s primary caregiver and co-teacher.
NOTE: Keep in mind, however, that ― “primary” does not mean exclusive. Children should not become completely dependent on the presence of one person. The other staff in the classroom will develop a warm relationship with your child and have caring and learning interactions as your child explores the learning environment.
The high-quality practice of continuity of care means that children and caregiver remain together throughout the entire program cycle, rather than having children change teachers each year. Because learning occurs simultaneously with emotional attachment, it is best for young children to have a stable caregiver throughout their early years.
Continuity of Care
Our Continuity of Care philosophy helps build secure relationships between children and their primary caregivers. We create a safe, predictable environment by maintaining daily care giving routines. This enables our teaching staff to learn each child's individual cues and provide quick responsive care. Classroom arrangement and materials are continuously adapted to meet the changing developmental needs of the children in the class. This practice fosters strong attachments and benefits the children by giving them caregivers who know them and their parents well.
At Campbell Child & Family Center, caregivers and children "move up" to the next room at the beginning of the fall session until they transition out of the toddler pod or leave the program. Continuity of care is looped through two classrooms. Example: Toddler I teachers stay with their students for 2 years from the Toddler I classroom into Toddler II; the same model applies to the Preschool pod teachers. Our teachers are committed to having an in-depth understanding of ages and stages in development, and a passion for teaching all age groups which provides them the ability to create developmentally appropriate learning experiences.