Early Development Center
The Early Development Center (EDC) at the LACC offers children and their families a comprehensive program that meets the highest academic standards and prepares children from six-weeks to 5 years of age to meet developmental goals for their age group. As a program that provides services to primarily low-income, minority families, who reside in urban communities, we strive to provide quality, affordable and neighborhood-based educational programming to our children and families.
Our program offers a safe, secure and enriching environment that allows for physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and language development of the children. Each year more than 80% of our pre-k students demonstrate kindergarten readiness based on developmental indicators and data collected using the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment system.
Infants and Toddlers:
Spanish immersion program: Research indicates that language acquisition occurs during the earliest years of a child’s life. Therefore, our program has the unique opportunity to educate our students as bilingual learners.
Our children in the Infant and Toddler classrooms are taught entirely in Spanish, immersing the children in the language, regardless of the student’s home or native language.
Pre-k 3 and 4:
Dual Language Program: Once our students enter our Pre-K 3 and 4, they receive instruction in both Spanish and English. Teachers only teach in one language, while children have the opportunity to switch classrooms every other day so that they spend alternating time in both settings. Working collaboratively, the teachers provide the necessary supports for children as they develop both languages.
This design allows our students to build fluency in both languages during the time when developmentally, their brain is most equipped to learn new languages.
Our Early Development Center is a participant in the Delaware Stars program because of our alignment with their mission that all children enter life and school ready to succeed, as well as the program’s emphasis on quality improvement. Delaware Stars for Early Success is a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), which is a method used to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality in early care and education. It establishes quality standards for programs and provides technical assistance and financial support to programs involved in Stars as they engage in quality improvement efforts. Delaware Stars is designed as a voluntary system that expects programs to work on improving quality by moving up the Star Levels. During the 2013-2014 school year, the EDC was assessed as a Star Level 5 Quality Early Childhood program—the highest level of quality that they state recognizes.
Source: Delaware’s Institute for Success in Early Childhood.
Creative curriculum and teaching strategies gold:
Curriculum in La Fiesta includes the child-initiated and teacher-directed activities and experiences offered to the children that support and enrich their growth across a broad spectrum of developmental areas. Each classroom uses the research-based, Creative Curriculum to promote age appropriate development and learning for each of our unique learners. This curriculum focuses on social emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy, mathematics, science, social students, and art objectives in order to promote comprehensive development for our students. Teaching Strategies GOLD is the assessment tool used by the program to evaluate and track each child’s individual development during their time in our program. It is an on-going assessment system, meaning that teachers are continually watching, observing, and documenting each child’s development. The same tool is used from birth through kindergarten, to provide a more complete and aligned picture of your child’s development. By tracking a child’s development, our teachers are able to plan activities that are appropriate for each child. In addition, three times per year parents have the opportunity to learn about their child’s development through student growth conferences.
Fast Facts about the EDC:
There are 131 children in our program from infant through age 5.
Our staff participates in rigorous professional development and training to ensure a culture of constant learning for our staff and children.
Our Parent Council and Family Services Coordinator meets regularly to promote consistency between home and school environments.
Weekly Newsletters and Parent Bulletins keep open communication between teachers and families consistent and effective.