10/26/08 — Non-profit day care takes a different approach

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Non-profit day care takes a different approach

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 26, 2008 2:00 AM

A new non-profit preschool has opened in Goldsboro that offers a 6-to-1 student-teacher ratio for its young charges, but registrations are coming in slowly.

Wayne Child Development Center, owned by Skill Creations, at 1109 Royall Ave. mixes typically developing children with those who have developmental disabilities.

Director Brooke Hackman said the inclusive setting is a new concept, and that it has been slow to catch on since first opening for business in late August.

But the concept is quickly becoming mainstreamed, and Mrs. Hackman said a similar school in Greenville has become so popular that it has a waiting list.

That is because the concept benefits both groups of children, she said.

"No two children are on the same developmental level, whether they have special needs or are typically developing," she said.

That is why the Wayne Child Development Center offers well educated and experienced teachers who guide their classrooms to make sure all children are given special attention and guidance, she said.

The school uses a creative curriculum based on children's interests and play.

Then, the teachers enhance their play by providing interactive materials.

Each child has individualized goals and outcomes.

"We give the parents a sheet to list their child's strengths, needs and unique characteristics, their likes and dislikes and what the parent wants to see their child accomplish during the year," she said.

The teacher then observes the child for a couple of weeks and combines the parent's goals with her own goals for the child.

But in addition to the individualized goal planning, the main benefit shared by both groups of children being together in the classroom is the friendships they form, Mrs. Hackman said.

"Allowing a child with special needs the opportunity to be taught in the same environment as a child who is typically developing offers each something different," she said. "Typically developing children learn about differences in our changing world and become more accepting of others."