Program Philosophy

CPDC believes in playful learning. Some centers are more self-directed, teacher-guided small groups, and some are more free play. The majority of the day at CPDC is in play. Based on solid research, CPDC believes that play is the mechanism by which children learn. From NAEYC:

Playful learning—rich curriculum coupled with a playful pedagogy—front and center as a model for all early childhood educators

CPDC believes in place-based education. As a rich university learning community member, CPDC’s families and children have access to unlimited opportunities for growth. We use our local university community environment as a complete extension of the classroom environment. Our campus allows us access to a mini-city, complete with a post office, art gallery, extensive library, police department, and so much more at our door.

A teacher plays a guitar for class of preschool students
sheets of paper hanging on a wall, a sign reads Haiku


The primary curriculum used in our PreK4 and PreK3 classrooms is the researched-based, high-quality FrogStreet. Our toddlers also use the formal FrogStreet curriculum and other activities developed from Learn Every Day curriculum from Kaplan. While we use the formal curriculum to pace and guide our learning, our teachers also develop emergent and inquiry-based learning plans based on the needs of their classroom.

We use MDE early learning standards and guidelines in our classrooms. Teachers/Early Childhood Educators are required to post their lesson plans weekly.
We regularly assess our classrooms, program, teachers, and children to ensure we meet the needs and provide a high-quality program.
We also believe that to educate, we must take care of the whole child. Our program utilizes Conscious Discipline to guide our behavior and relationships within the classroom.
MUW CPDC is a non-profit program. We have an Amazon wish list, and we encourage MUW students, local businesses, churches and youth organizations to think of the CPDC for volunteer opportunities, work days, or philanthropic opportunities.

A group of small children craft at a table together

Our Program

Hand drawn faces on a red paper, the title reads Our Class is a Family


CPDC accepts children who have turned 1-year-old until they transition to kindergarten. We maintain four classrooms with a maximum of 47 students:

Our classroom ratios

PreK1 (Young Toddlers) – Maximum 8 children
PreK2 (Older Toddlers) - Maximum 9 children
PreK 3 (Preschool) – Maximum 14 children
PreK 4 (Prekindergarten) – Maximum 16 children