The Early Childhood Education Center is an inclusive preschool program. The Juniata College Program and the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 Early Intervention Program are combined to create the ECEC on Juniata's campus in Huntingdon, PA. ECEC is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, designated as a top STAR 4 Center, and is the only NAEYC accredited center in Huntingdon County.
Early childhood is a time of new beginnings, rapid growth, change, intense exploration, and exciting discoveries. At the Early Childhood Education Center, we view development as a series of tightly interwoven biological, social-emotional, and cognitive processes. Thus, we value the unique characteristics, strengths, and interests of each child as we strive to promote optimal development of the whole child.
We also believe that all children are capable learners who actively construct their own knowledge, develop skills, and create a sense of self through experiences and interactions in the physical and social world. To facilitate learning, we provide a safe, supportive, and comfortable environment full of carefully planned activities, materials, and opportunities for active exploration and interaction with peers and adults. Since we value independence and intrinsic motivation, we encourage children to make decisions, take sensible risks, and explore new ideas. We focus on success and help children learn to deal with conflict or frustration in positive ways.
Our curriculum supports diversity, family involvement, and fosters learning through a combination of play, developmentally appropriate learning activities, and projects. We value family relationships and foster an appreciation of commonality and diversity.
It takes a village to raise a child. The Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) in cooperation with the Juniata College community, the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit (TIU), families, and other local agencies is dedicated to creating a community of learners where adults and children develop and grow. By providing a sense of connection, we build opportunities and new possibilities to make the world a better place –a place that is responsive to our longing for community, meaningful relationships, and belonging. We see Early Childhood Education as an agent of social change and strive to exemplify a vision based on the values of the college founders—community, peace, and service.
The mission of the Early Childhood Education Center is to:
- Be proactive and responsive to the needs of the Early Childhood Education community
- Seek to prepare undergraduate students to work effectively with young children and families, to develop interpersonal communication skills, and to demonstrate an understanding of developmentally appropriate practices
- Provide a welcoming appropriate physical environment for all children to safely explore relationships, similarities, differences, connections, and technology
- Promote intrinsic motivation and self-control in children by modeling and teaching
- Provide links to the rest of the community
- Provide a creative environment with child-centered opportunities for exploration
- Provide developmentally appropriate programming linked to:
- PA Early Learning Standards
- Keystone STARS
- NAEYC standards
- Be licensed and accredited
- Maintain a highly trained staff
- Develop skills to be life-long learners and proactive citizens
- Support recruitment efforts of Juniata College