The Child Development Academy at Marshall University | A Living, Learning Laboratory


We are committed to providing a safe, nurturing and creative learning environment for children.Photo Representation - Children Reading The children are engaged in a play-based child-centered environment designed for the particular age group served. All activities throughout the day are considered learning opportunities including separating and reuniting with the family, eating meals, caring for one's self and the classroom, resting, and interacting with other children and adults.  The curriculum is designed to promote the skills and dispositions necessary for success in life including school and community participation.  The guidance methods give attention to the needs and differences of the individual children enrolled.  All staff members participate in extensive ongoing training provided by state and local agencies and the University. The participation of college students who gain experience with young Photo Representation: Children on Slide children through observation and participation also enhance our program and help us to keep high standards.

The Child Development Academy has six classrooms: two infant and toddler rooms, two two/three-year old rooms, and two preschool rooms.  The Academy uses the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers and the Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood.  We have also adopted the West Virginia Child Development Outcomes as a guide and an assessment of our program. Our objectives are grouped by age:


Infants and Toddlers

This is always an active group of eager learners. This program meets the changing needs of these children by providing a safe and appropriate environment that is both challenging and stimulation.  As the children develop independence and feeling of autonomy, the staff provides opportunities for exploration, the development of gross and fine motor skills, of self-help skills and of language skills. The children can enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities as they choose from a wide variety of toys and equipment.

  • to learn about themselves
  • to learn about their feelings
  • to learn about others
  • to learn about communicating
  • to learn about moving and doing
  • to acquire thinking skills

Preschoolers (ages 3-5 years old)

This group is involved in active learning through discovery and hands-on activities, which will encourage literacy and language development, pre-math skills, creativity and the development of positive self-esteem.  Each child is encouraged to make choices and reach his or her  highest potential within an appropriate, nurturing environment.
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  • to experience a sense of self-esteem
  • to exhibit a positive attitude toward life
  • to demonstrate cooperative behavior
  • to acquire learning & problem solving skills
  • to demonstrate skills in make-believe play
  • to expand verbal communications skills
  • to develop beginning reading skills
  • to acquire beginning writing skills
  • to enhance and refine fine motor skills
  • to use all senses in learning
  • to acquire a fuller understanding of their world



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