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.