Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center

Located in downtown Providence’s Shepard Company Building, the Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center (CDC) is a high-quality early care and education program for children 3 and 4 years of age. The CDC enrolls a maximum of 34 children in its two spacious classrooms.

The director of the Providence Child Development Center is a professional staff member in Human Development and Family Studies and has experience leading educational programs for young children. The director also contributes to the learning experiences of university students by teaching early childhood education courses and supervising practicum experiences at the Center.

Our teaching staff includes teachers certified in early childhood education by the Rhode Island Department of Education and are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Many of our teachers pursue their master’s degree and engage in other professional development activities while at the Child Development Center, highlighting their dedication to young children and their families.

A Community of Young Learners

We value and respect the uniqueness of each child. The classroom environment is designed to enhance the development of each child to the fullest extent. Children learn through meaningful play experiences carefully planned to match interests, learning styles, and abilities. NAEYC and Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards shape our curriculum framework. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the whole child through a play-oriented, integrated approach. Our curriculum includes a consistent daily schedule, a well-defined classroom environment, positive verbal climate, a range of high quality instructional strategies, and open-ended activities reflecting a diverse world.

Based on the belief that children are best understood within the context of their family and community, we strive to foster strong reciprocal relationships with families and to use knowledge of the community we serve as an integral part of children’s learning experiences. We seek to understand families’ personal and cultural backgrounds, create and maintain effective two-way communication, and support and nurture family members to be effective advocates for their children. Families are encouraged to work in partnership sharing their knowledge of their child’s interests, approaches to learning and developmental needs. Through this strong relationship we learn about families’ concerns, goals and hopes for each child.

Fieldwork Experiences for URI Students

The Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center provides University of Rhode Island students the opportunity to apply knowledge and improve practice. Students enrolled in Human Development and Family Studies and Early Childhood Teacher Certification classes complete supervised field experiences in a supportive environment. Teachers serve as models of best practice related to work with young children, challenging URI students to be reflective, utilize feedback, and set individual goals. Each semester, the CDC is a practicum setting for over 30 students.

In addition to practicum experiences, other URI courses require students to visit the CDC for observations and interviews. Through carefully designed assignments, URI students gain knowledge of child development, high-quality environment design, intentional teacher interactions that improve outcomes for children and the field of early care and education.

Community Partners

As a leader in the community, the Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center staff are committed to advancing the field of early childhood education. The CDC staff participates in projects designed to shape and guide the course of early care and education in our state: Rhode Island Workforce Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators, RI Early Learning and Development Standards Project, the Preschool Development Grant and the RI Department of Human Services Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Project.

Enrollment Process

The Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center is open year-round. An optional 8 week summer program is available to currently enrolled families or incoming academic year families. Families may choose from two program options.

  • Extended day preschool: Monday–Friday 7:45 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
  • Morning program preschool: Monday–Friday 7:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

New children and families enter the Child Development Center during the last week of June, the first week of September, or as space becomes available. Applications are due by February 1 for enrollment consideration in the current year.

  1. Interested families submit an online application and application fee.
  2. Families schedule a tour of the program. This process ensures that each family has the opportunity to visit classrooms, meet teachers, observe children in play, and ask questions.
  3. Once families decide that our program meets their needs, families schedule a 45-minute visit with their child. During the child visit, families have an opportunity to see their child play and interact in a new environment. Teachers have an opportunity to learn about the child’s interest and family goals for the child.
  4. Enrollment offers are extended to families in early March for summer and fall enrollment. Once an offer to enroll is extended, families submit a non-refundable deposit equal to one month of academic year tuition.
  5. Families complete an enrollment packet prior to the start of school.


The Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation’s largest organization of early childhood professionals. NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous, voluntary process demonstrating our program’s commitment to national and local standards of excellence. In addition, the Dr. Pat Feinstein CDC has earned a five-star BrightStars rating from the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, the state’s quality rating and improvement system . The center is licensed by the RI Department of Human Services.

The Center welcomes donations and gifts in kind to support the program. For more information contact Delia Hall at 401.277.5264 or delia@uri.edu.