Faculty & Staff

Philosophy for Education and Care of Children

The staff of the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) is committed to providing a high quality program for young children and their families.  The program is nationally accredited through NAEYC and is designed to promote the development of the total individual by helping each child to develop skills in the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive areas.  This is accomplished by providing a balanced program that includes both teacher-directed and child initiated activities, quiet as well as active experiences, and the recognition that learning occurs in both formal and informal settings, especially through play.

Young children are integrally connected to their homes and families, and it is understood that families are and should be the principle influence in their children's lives.  The ECDC seeks to be appropriately responsive to families.  Parents, teachers, and staff work together toward the goal of nurturing children in an environment where all are respected for their individual differences and provided with the building blocks for a lifelong love of learning.

The Early Childhood Development Center's philosophy is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach and is based on the knowledge that young children learn through active exploration of their environment. This occurs optimally when their physical needs are met and they feel emotionally secure. Instilling in children a sense of security and trust will be of utmost importance. Staff will create classroom learning environments appropriate to the developmental needs of the various age groups and will provide for the needs of individual children.

The ECDC is a ‘living laboratory’ where adults as well as children come to learn. We believe that we learn from the children just as much as they are learning from us. Teachers are co-collaborators with children. Teachers are guiding, mentoring, and modeling, but also observing, reflecting, and hypothesizing. Teachers are researchers, studying the changes that individual children have as they grow, as well as the changes in the group and between group members. Our teachers are curious, interested, and enthusiastic about how children learn, and how children show us what they know. We understand that much of what children show us about their learning and understanding of the world is not through verbal communication.

Points of Pride

Nationally Accredited and High State Rating

  •  UM-Flint is the only NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited program in Genesee County serving children from 8 weeks through 12 years

  • Submitted Annual Report for NAEYC Accreditation

  • Curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy which was developed in Italy and places emphasis on how young children are capable and competent

  • Great Start to Quality 4 star rating 

ECDC enrollment at full capacity
  • Average of 148 children enrolled

  • GSRP Grant renewed allowing free preschool for 32 children

  • CCAMPIS Grant allowed Pell Eligible UM-Flint students access to quality childcare with up to 80% discount

  • Approximately 24% of the enrolled families of the ECDC received child care subsidy through the Department of Health and Human Services

  • Specialized care given to special needs children

  • ECDC extended hours of operation to 6:00am-10:00pm through April 2015, in order to help college students with childcare during evening classes

  • Largest graduation class, 50 children participated in a cap and gown preschool graduation in the William S. White Auditorium, June 2015

  • Growing Up Green Enrichment Class offered throughout year

  • School age summer program averaged 32 children a day, age six through twelve 

Qualified Staff – Professional Activity and Development
  • Kickball Team Building tournament with SEHS personnel, July 2014

  • Head Teacher Kimberly Curry trained several nursing students on how to implement the Denver II assessment screening and Ages and Stages Questionnaires, August 2014

  • Research Questions guided each classroom’s curriculum

  • Learning Stories became a tool for documenting children’s learning

  • Early Childhood expertise was shared in college classrooms of UM-Flint and Mott CC by adjunct faculty member Della Becker-Cornell

  • Head Teacher Carolyn Miller provided early childhood training through Child Connect, fall 2014

  • One Head Teacher presented at the national level in Dallas, Texas: Mary Lynn Gottler

  • ECDC Staff attended the NAEYC Conference in Dallas, Texas: Robert Callahan and Susan Ford

  • Four Head Teachers presented in Howell at the Community Sharing for Healthy Caring Early Childhood conference in November: Breanna Waugh, Shauna Phillips, Diana Hensley and Kimberly Curry

  • Provided 2nd Annual IMagine Conference for community which doubled participation, March 2015

  • Hosted an evening meeting and ECDC tour for the Michigan Inspirations Collaborative, March 2015

  • Eight Head Teachers presented at the MiAEYC annual conference in Grand Rapids in April: Mary Lynn Gottler, Joslyn Marinelli, Kimberly Curry, Betty Sheehy, Carolyn Miller, Diana Hensley, Breanna Waugh and Shauna Phillips

  • MiAEYC Student Leadership Award presented to Marissa McCann while two other students earned scholarships to attend conference, Ashley Sullivan and Samantha McGinnis

  • Campus Early Childhood Club launched by many student employees

  • ECDC full-time staff engaged in a Teaching Circle with ECE Faculty Aviva Dorfman and Christine Kenney: Learning Together with Young Children

  • ECE Faculty receive course release to work directly within program

  • UM-Flint, Mott Community College and Baker College had over 50 interns complete their practicum hours at the ECDC

  • Director and Head Teacher participated in Individual Education Plan with local school district to obtain special services for deserving child

  • ECDC staff model health and fitness by participating in MHealthy Initiatives

  • Little Caesar’s Fundraiser in February 2015 raised funds for staff professional development

  • Member of the Michigan Inspirations Reggio Inspired Collaborative providing training for Early Childhood professionals along with: CMU, Lansing CC, Fenton World of Wonder, Building Blocks of Highland, and Okemos Nursery School

  • Received Hardware grant to keep computer technology at optimal usage

  • Acknowledged the teaching staff with an appreciation week, May 2015

  • Many staff earned degrees: Breanna Waugh, Tekia Long, Angela Sintery, Adam Rainey, Jennifer Cozart, Shuolin Chen, Deondra Cross, and Kayla Harris

  • Full-time staff take graduate courses: Carolyn Miller, Cheryl Henige, Joslyn Marinelli, and Alysha Arnould

  • Two full-time staff sit on the Board for the Greater Flint Association of the Education of Young Children: Della Becker-Cornell and Joslyn Marinelli

  • Michigan Inspirations put on three seminar series at MSU with accomplished Reggio inspired presenters, many ECDC staff participated and attended

  • Three full time staff sit on the Steering Committee for Michigan Inspirations: Della Becker-Cornell, Mary Lynn Gottler, and Joslyn Marinelli 

Exciting opportunities offered to children, families and community

  • Family-Teacher conferences occurred in the fall and spring, with the infant families meeting with staff at 4, 8, and 12 months of age

  • Parent representatives from each classroom participated in an active Family Advisory Board that met monthly with the Director to discuss program events, policies and procedures. Head Teachers also presented on relevant topics at each of these meetings

  • Connections with the Physical Therapy Department in educating college students about the fine and gross motor development of young children through various assessment tools

  • Children and families participated in the Eastern Michigan Food Drive

  • Several classrooms held a family event specific to their enrolled community of families including: a skit, bowling, roller skating, space night, family culture night, gardening, and a fun fair

  • Provided tours, observation site and training for area Centers and High School child development classes

  • Family Night occurred in each classroom in September 2014 for families to meet and greet each other

  • Fall Festival occurred in October 2014 with activities in every classroom and a huge turnout of families

  • Make ‘n Take occurred in December 2014 with activities in the hallway outside the ECDC for children and visitors to make and take with them

  • Art Exhibit with an Open House in the University Center Gallery January/February 2015 for two weeks

  • Offered Conscious Discipline “I Love You Rituals” education series for families, February/March 2015

  • Sponsored a Light Up the Night event for the community at the Farmer’s Market, February 2015, over 300 people attended

  • In recognition of March is Reading Month, children and staff dressed as their favorite book character for a whole week and participated in a book parade with Clifford the Big Red Dog

  • Grand Person event during March is Reading Month brought many significant people together in the Tuscola Room followed by enjoying literacy activities in the classrooms with their special child

  • International Night enhanced cultural experiences through celebrating diversity with live entertainment, March 2015

  • Hosted Early Childhood Action Day for Genesee County to advocate on behalf of children, March 2015

  • Several classrooms took part in Flint’s Earth Day recycled art contest

  • Participated in the Earth Day Celebration by hosting a table and facilitating activities for children, April 2015

  • Provided child care for the Chancellor’s Inauguration festivities, April 2015.

  • ECDC Entranceway and Hallway enhanced through new furniture, carpet and painting along with special features to highlight the community of staff and families

  • Color Me Healthy educated families and children for 5 weeks, May/June 2015

  • Provided Health Fair for families and community in conjunction with Nursing Department, May 2015

  • Staff and families celebrated with a family picnic at Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc in June 2015

  • Children participated in the ECDC Crim club and trained twice a week in preparation for the big event 

Research & Observation

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