The Center for Early Childhood Education is located on the Fort Hill campus of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. The center, commonly referred to as “Fort Hill,” offers full- and part-time early education and care for children from infancy through preschool, and is open to all children in the surrounding communities. The program provides exemplary early education and care for young children; offers a laboratory for research and fieldwork for college students and faculty; and supports the child care needs of families.
With a mission to provide exemplary early education and care for young children, we create and sustain a caring and respectful community dedicated to supporting the growth and development of each child. In such a cooperative and responsive community, differences are valued and all relationships are based on respect.
Central to our philosophy is the belief that emotional security and attachment to responsive and respectful adults provide the basis for learning. We view the learning process as a dynamic one that is enhanced by new ideas and a willingness to take intellectual risks while developing, testing and revising understandings. Guided by a deep respect for the potential of all young children, we recognize the individual development and personal strength of each child as they grow and learn within the context of their family and community.
We believe that children learn best through active exploration, experience, interaction, experimentation and modeling. We see the classroom environment as another teacher; each classroom design is carefully planned and may evolve throughout the year to meet the needs of the children. The teachers maintain a structure through routine, predictability, and consistency. Teachers are guides, observers and collaborators with children in their learning and discovery. They are also partners with parents and collaborators with one another.
Contact Center for Early Childhood Education
28 Lyman Road
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063