University Child Development Center
635 Clyde Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
The Center's curriculum is addressed in a holistic manner and focuses on teaching children as opposed to subjects. The teachers in our classrooms act as facilitators and nurturers, acting more as choreographers than directors. They design and implement certain plans based on what they know about the strengths each child has exhibited, what interests them the most, as well as the child's individual learning styles.
The child’s day will be filled with a variety of learning opportunities that focus on the whole child. Each classroom has a daily schedule posted so that parents/guardians can get a general idea of what types of activities children engage in throughout the day, but classroom teachers are flexible and able to change plans to meet the needs of the children. Typical activity areas are: outdoor play, dramatic play, art, sensory, puzzles, blocks, math, cooking, science, music, language arts, indoor active play, and the study of the world around us. Teachers use routine times such as diaper changing, mealtimes, and rest time to connect with each child. They ensure that these times are individualized, relaxed, gentle, and full of conversation. Teachers value one on one moments with children and use them to build trusting relationships.
Through play, which is the work of young children, information is gathered and processed. The Center provides play opportunities that impact all areas of learning, helping children prepare for life ahead. This approach builds a sense of competence for young children, which in turn, encourages healthy risk taking and creative problem solving. We feel that it is important to provide children with situations in which they may test their level of readiness safely or declare their independence when they feel comfortable and secure. Therefore, the classrooms are designed to expose children to a variety of creative experiences in order to allow this freedom.