The WNMU PreK Program is part of the Early Childhood Programs (Programs) at Western New Mexico University. The Programs are part of the College of Education (COE) under the direction of the COE Dean. The Programs are under the management of the Executive Director for Early Childhood Programs. The Programs provide early care and education for children from six weeks to five years of age and also serve as a laboratory site for university students from many disciplines. The Child Development Center and Growing Tree Infant Toddler Program are Star Level 5 licensed and nationally accredited by the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The Early Childhood Programs at Western New Mexico University seek to support the highest quality of early care and education through community outreach, teacher education/training, and advocacy. We promote the primacy of play in children’s development in a child-and family centered context, respecting each family’s uniqueness and diversity.
The Program provides PreK services for three classrooms of 20 children from 8:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday. In addition to PreK services, the Program offers tuition based wrap-around services from 7:45am to 4:45pm for families in need of full day child care services.
The Program provides emergent curriculum based on the developmental needs and interests of the children utilizing the New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines as a framework for informing the curriculum cycle: observation, reflections, planning, and implementation. Emergent curriculum provides concrete hands-on activities, experiences, active exploration and interaction with adults, peers, materials and the environment. Appropriate curriculum emphasizes the process of learning rather than the product, and is based on the understanding that children must first master one stage of development before moving on to the next stage.