URI’s Child Development Center is celebrating two anniversaries this year: The 50th anniversary of the center’s home on Lower College Road, which was built in 1958; and the 70th anniversary of CDC’s mission as a laboratory school for providing undergraduates with hands-on experience in early childhood education. In 1938 the CDC was based in URI’s historic Watson House, and tuition was just $25 annually.
Here are a few facts about today’s Child Development Center provided by Director Susan Warford:
• The CDC is open 12 months a year from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., although most children do not stay for the whole day.
• About 60 to 70% of children’s families are members of the URI community.
• There is a waiting list of 300 children.
• Preschool (3- to 5-year-olds) has an enrollment of 20 students.
• Kindergarten (5 – to 6-year-olds) has an enrollment of 14 students.
There are five fulltime teachers,18 undergraduate work-study assistants, and 40 practicum students from the College of Human Science and Services.
For the little ones, this means plenty of enthusiastic teachers in a rich environment offering games, storytelling, finger painting, and other activities. Special tables are equipped with sand, water and fabric to encourage innovative play.
And overlooking it all are Scallop and Periwinkle, two friendly blue parakeets who are lovingly cared for by the children.
Archival Photo Courtesy of Child Development Center, Current Photos By Nora Lewis, Artwork By CDC Children