Welcome to the Children’s Learning Center at Mitchell College!
About the Program and Educational Philosophy
The Children’s Learning Center at Mitchell College has a curriculum nested in its environmentally rich surroundings. Based on principles that make children partners in the learning process, the curriculum is driven by each child’s unique curiosity.
First Day of Class:
Reggio Emilia Approach
Our focus incorporates the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. This inspired way of teaching originated in Italy and maintains the belief that the classroom environment is shaped by the children’s interests, the community, and the value of learning hands-on.
At its core, the program recognizes that:
- All children have potential and curiosity.
- Children have interest in relationships, in constructing their own learning, and in negotiating with everything the environment brings to them.
- Children should be considered as active citizens with rights and, along with their families, are contributing members of their local community.
Our methods are built on these principles:
- The Children’s Learning Center will bring the environment into the classroom through experiences with the surrounding woods, pond, and beach.
- Our teachers and children will guide their own learning. They will integrate curiosity and rich materials with natural possibilities as they observe and listen to each other’s needs. Teachers use their understanding of best classroom practices to ask questions and discover the children’s ideas, hypotheses, and theories.
- The families, children, and teachers will work together as a partnership in the process of learning.
Designed for Children
Full Day Rate: $205 per week (8am-4pm)
Half Day Rate: $145 per week (8am-1pm)
$10 per hour for before care or after care
The Children’s Learning Center is located adjacent to the Mitchell College campus in New London, CT in the historic Chappell Cottage. Uniquely surrounded by the natural beauty and outdoor learning lab of Mitchell Woods, The Children’s Learning Center offers to its young learners access to a wetland pond, estuary and sandy beach on the Thames River at the mouth of Long Island Sound. Our setting naturally affords opportunity for discovery and exploration!
We cannot currently offer interior tours as the cottage is currently being rented. Please contact us at 860-629-6109 for information.
2017-2018 School Year
The 2017-2018 school year begins on August 28, 2017. Our 2018 summer program begins June 18, 2018. Download our calendar which outlines scheduled closures and special events.
Inclement Weather Closures
The Children’s Learning Center will be closed or delayed for inclement weather when Mitchell College is closed or delayed.
Hours of Operation
The Children’s Learning Center at Mitchell College will be open Monday through Friday from 6:00am until 6:00pm with:
- Full Day Preschool hours from 8:00am until 4:00pm
- Half Day Preschool hours from 8:00am until 1:00pm
- Before Care from 6am-8am
- After Care from 4pm-6pm.
Your child may attend a maximum of 9 hours per day. You may choose either M-F Full Day Schedule or M-F Half Day Schedule.
Typical Preschool Day
8:00 am: Arrival & drop off
8:00-9:00am: Teacher coordinated learning centers open to all children
9:00-9:30am: Morning meeting & circle time
9:30-10:00am: Snack (2 food groups/provided by staff)
10:00-10:45am: Exploration time (this may include a nature hike, beach visit, or pond walk)
10:45-11:00am: Journal & reflection
11:00-12:00pm: Teacher coordinated learning centers open to all children
1:00-2:45pm: Quiet time/nap time
2:45-3:15pm: Literacy time
3:15-4:00pm: Snack (2 food groups/provided by staff) and outdoor play
Early Childhood Education at Mitchell College
Mitchell College, which offers a number of degree programs in Early Childhood Education, will guide the program and college students will be actively engaged in the Children’s Learning Center, bringing best practices, innovation and enthusiasm.
Meet the Director
Kimberly Mansfield, MAT
Kimberly Mansfield earned her M.A. in Teaching from Sacred Heart University. She earned a B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in children and youth at Eastern Connecticut State University. In addition to her role as Director and Head Teacher at the Children’s Learning Center at Mitchell College, Kimberly is an Assistant Professor in Mitchell’s Early Childhood Education department. Kimberly possesses a Connecticut Head Teacher’s Certificate and has numerous years of experience directing and teaching at child development centers in Connecticut. Kimberly resides in Ledyard with her husband and 2 ½ year old son. She loves to be outdoors at the beach or in her garden and is an avid baker and great home chef.