Laurie Rhodes, director
A basket of dolls, a shelf filled with paper, paints and scissors, a stack of blocks – these don’t seem like the typical things you would find in a classroom on a college campus. But on the northwest corner of the Lincoln Land Community College campus, these are a few of the tools you will find that nurture the learning of our youngest students – those at the LLCC Child Development Center.Did you know that as 15-month-old Tommy cuddles, feeds and talks to that doll, he is showing his teacher that he has an understanding of feelings, he is learning communication skills, he is beginning to learn about social roles in society, and he is developing an understanding of health and nutritional needs? How about two-year-old Susie, who is using that paper, paint and scissors to create a picture? Did you know she is demonstrating confidence in meeting her own needs, developing fine motor skills needed as she learns to write, expressing her curiosity and motivation, and experimenting with shapes and colors? As preschoolers Max and Sarah work together to build a block structure, they are not only developing an understanding of math and science concepts, but also learning how to work cooperatively with others and developing communication skills that allow them to express their own thoughts and needs.
At the LLCC Child Development Center, our program’s philosophy is based on extensive research that shows this is how young children learn best – through their play.
Research also tells us the teaching staff’s knowledge of child development and early childhood education is closely linked to a high quality program for children. Our highly qualified staff of professional educators use their knowledge of children to design a classroom environment that supports the total development – socially, emotionally, physically, creatively and cognitively—for each and every child. They design classroom activities and experiences that are relevant to children’s lives, encourage an interest in art, music, science, mathematics, literacy, social studies, nutrition and health. The teaching staff utilizes positive guidance techniques while fostering the development of self-esteem, self-control and self-help skills. Most importantly, they provide readily available adult attention to help ensure a positive atmosphere.
The LLCC Child Development Center is committed to offering a model of high quality care not only to our adult learners who use the facility as a learning lab, but also as a model to the community. This is evidenced by the center’s NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accreditation. The Center voluntarily sought this accreditation and assessors confirmed our commitment to quality, based on the latest research on the education and development of young children. The center was found to demonstrate positive relationships, a developmentally appropriate curriculum, effective teaching approaches, the use of ongoing assessments of child progress, nutrition and health standards, a well-qualified teaching staff, collaborative relationships with families and the community, a safe physical environment and strong program management.
Who can utilize the services offered at the Child Development Center? Full-time and part-time care is available to any child in the community between the ages of 15 months to entry to kindergarten. Special rates are offered to LLCC students. Tuition assistance is available to those who qualify. The Child Development Center is open 6:45 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
We invite you to come as we celebrate 20 years at our current location with a Family Fun Night Open House on Monday, Oct. 20 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Come in and view our facility, participate in children’s activities, and talk to teachers and parents of enrolled children. For more information or to schedule a visit, call 217-786-2450 or visit our website.
Laurie Rhodes is director of the Child Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College.