Welcome to WIU Infant and Preschool Center! We have an outstanding program for young children and we hope you and your child will enjoy your time with us. In this handbook you will find our philosophy and goal statements, a basic overview of our program, and general information concerning policies and regulations. We hope that you feel free to discuss any concerns you may have or ask any questions about our program. Any ideas or suggestions of ways we can better serve you and your child are always welcome. You are encouraged to visit your child at the center or to just enjoy watching from our observation booth. We take very seriously the trust you have placed in us to care for your child.
The College of Applied Sciences and College of Education established the WIU Infant and Preschool Center in the fall of 1977 as a lab-training site. In 1990, the College of Education took over the full administration of the center. An average of 600 college students utilize the center for observation or hands-on experiences with the children each semester. These students come from many departments and disciplines across the university.
The center is licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services to serve children, six weeks to six years of age. We accept any children within the specified age range, including children with special needs.
The WIU Infant and Preschool Center strives to maintain a program that is geared to the optimal development of the growing child. The goals of the center are to aid the children to:
- develop and maintain positive feelings about themselves and about their own abilities to create and to learn;
- develop their awareness of the world around them through sensory experiences—opportunities to see, hear, taste, smell—that are prerequisites for developing concepts and solving problems;
- develop and improve language through listening, speaking, and dramatic play activities, which form the basis for reading, writing, and other communication skills;
- develop an ability to express, both verbally and nonverbally, feelings such as joy, happiness, fear, and anger in acceptable ways;
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