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Education and fun go hand-in-hand at Quinsigamond Community College's Children School

September, 2017
  • The Children's School Annual Art Exhibit.
  • Outdoor play is a part of QCC's Children's School.
  • QCC's Dean of Enrollment Michelle Tufau Afriyie with her lovely daughter.

Openings for 2017-2018 currently available

For 45 years Quinsigamond Community College’s Children’s School and Early Childhood Education Department have been part of the fabric that makes QCC unique to Worcester and the surrounding communities. Also known as the “Child Study Center,” located on the main campus, the school provides young children between the ages of 2.9 years to 5 years old a full-day program that fosters appreciation of self, others and the world around them. The program is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The Children’s School is the laboratory/training center for the Early Childhood Education (ECE)program.  ECE faculty offices are also located within this center.

The Children’s School is available to children of QCC students, faculty, staff and the community, with QCC students given first priority. The school, which is licensed for 40 children, currently has several openings for the current school year. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and financial assistance options are available, such as a state voucher or a QCC scholarship to help offset the cost of childcare if a family meets certain qualifications.

The school also serves as a training site for students in the QCC ECE program, offering weekly hands-on practical experience. According to Charlene Mara, Coordinator for the ECE Department, the college students are practicing what they are learning from their college coursework in the children’s classrooms. It is a match that has worked well for children, families and college students.

“This program is truly a team effort between the faculty of the ECE department and the Children’s School. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the ECE program,” said, Director of the Children’s School, Nancy Knight. “I’ve been here for 12 years; was a graduate of the Early Childhood program and completed my seminars and practicum experience here. I’m also an adjunct professor. It really has come full circle for me.”

The Children’s School offers two classrooms of between 18-20 children in each group, comprised of mixed ages. These groups are staffed by Department of Early Education and Care certified lead teachers. Two to three student teachers, who are under the direct supervision of the ECE faculty, implement their classroom learning in the lab school on a daily basis.

“The emphasis is on social and cognitive skills that the children need most. We’re very consistent on how we teach. The curriculum here changes every day according to the interests and developmental needs of each child. The children learn while having fun,” said Nancy Knight, Director of the Children’s School.

While there is never a “typical day,” both indoor and outdoor play, as well as group time, snack time, open-ended learning activities and rest time occur daily. There are also occasional walking field trips. Each day a detailed curriculum is posted. Teachers and children generate ideas for the curriculum.  Daily areas of interest available to the children include: art, sand/water, science, manipulatives, language arts, blocks, workbench, writing area, dramatic play, and the outdoor learning environment.   

To apply to the Children’s School, please download an application and return it by mail or in-person. Applications are placed on a list according to the date they are received at the school, and are processed from this list as vacancies occur.

For additional information, please contact Jane Lohnes at jlohnes [at] qcc.mass.edu, Nancy Knight at knight [at] qcc.mass.edu, or call 508.854.4220.