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Center for Early Childhood Education

Toddler II students made paper plate fish portraitsEducation

Children in all CECE classrooms experience a play-based early childhood education experience, which addresses areas of development: cognitive, social, emotional, language gross and fine motor, and self-help/adaptive skills. Curriculum implementation allows children to engage in play through topic/units of study.

This is accomplished through multiple child-directed activities. Children engage in activity such as dramatic play, art and sensory experiences, activities that promote health and safety, music and movement, and outside play. Time is also dedicated to teacher directed activities as needed through facilitating small group, one-on-one and whole group experiences. When developmentally appropriate, Lead Teachers plan developmentally appropriate activities that address pre-literacy, pre-math, and pre-science skills in an authentic manner. To promote problem solving and creative thinking, children are allowed to use materials freely and to move with spontaneity. Conflict resolution skills are modeled as needed and as children grow and develop are encouraged to initiate these strategies independently.

The CECE implements a curriculum in each classroom. The teachers plan and post their weekly lesson plans for parents to view.

Each room’s lesson plans are based on children’s interests and developmental stages.

Each child’s individual skill levels are considered when lesson plans are implemented. The teachers strive to present child-centered, hands-on learning experiences that are interesting and relevant to each child in the classroom.

Developmentally appropriate practice guides the curricular areas of:

  • Music
  • Motor Skills / Physical Education
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Art
  • Language Arts
  • Social Skills
  • Self Help Skills
  • Pre-Reading and Pre-Writing Concepts


Children playing in the CECE playground


A wide variety of activities will be offered to keep your child challenged and entertained throughout the day. To keep you informed, our classrooms use the SeeSaw App. This app replaces the previous weekly lesson plans and newsletters. Some of the activities outside of the classroom include playing in the CECE's play areas as well as...

Exploring campus:

  • playing on the football field and track located near the CECE
  • feeding waterfowl at Wooster Lake
  • visiting ESU's William Allen White Library for story time
  • walking to and playing in Hammond Park
  • includes the annual Halloween parade where CECE students wear their costumes and trick or treat across campus

Children attending in the summer months enjoy the following:

  • Swimming at ESU pool (located in HPER building) - at least 4 days per week
  • Attending movies through the Flinthills Movie Theater Summer Movie Program - weekly
  • Participating in the Emporia Public Library Summer Reading Program - weekly, and walking there for Wednesday Brown Bag Concerts
  • Educational field trips - every other week when available; these often include the museums on campus (Johnston Geology Museum, Schmidt Museum of Natural History)
  • Exploring Jones Park, Hammond Park, Peter Pan Park, walks on campus - at least 1-2 times per week



Adult:Child Ratios

The CECE constantly maintains adult child ratios that meet or exceed the standards mandated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. At maximum, our ratios are:

Teacher:Child Ratios

1:5 = Toddler Classroom (12 months to 2 1/2 years of age)

1:7 = Toddler II Classroom (12 months to 2 1/2 years of age)

1:10 = Preschool I Classroom (2 1/2 years to school age)

1:10 = Preschool II Classroom (2 1/2 years to school age)

All staff (including all practicum students, student teachers, and other volunteers) are required to submit to a KBI background check, provide documentation of a recent physical and a negative TB skin test.