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Welcome to the Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE) at Fort Hill. Fort Hill is unique in many ways and it is an honor to work within such a special program. We value collaborative and trusting relationships and strive to develop a vibrant learning community for children, families, Smith College students and educators.

This handbook offers a detailed glimpse into our program, including the curriculum, our policies and procedures, and how our vision will shape your child's experience at Fort Hill. The handbook is intended to offer information about the program to all members of the community. The program is commonly, and in this handbook, referred to as both “Fort Hill” and “CECE.”

Our curriculum is child-centered, project-based, and is co-constructed by children and teachers in response to children's interests and developmental needs. We value social connection and believe relationships are central to young children's learning process. Children and teachers are engaged and inspired by their relationships with others and with the world around them. We always value family participation in the program, and while we are not able to welcome parents into our hallways and classrooms right now, we look forward to doing so as soon as possible. Now and always, we encourage families to participate in classroom life and in curriculum development through dialogue with the teachers, contributions to classroom projects, and by reading and responding to classroom documentation and blog posts.

As a department of Smith College, our mission is to support the child care needs of Smith employees, to offer a laboratory for the research and fieldwork of Smith College students and faculty, and to provide exemplary early education and care. We appreciate the many resources the college community offers the program and welcome Smith College students as researchers, observers, educators and interns. We look forward to reintegrating Smith student participation as we are able to welcome more people into our building.

I am so happy to welcome you to the Fort Hill community, and I value the perspective that you bring to our school and to your child's experience here. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the program or offer feedback, please feel free to contact me by email or telephone.


Jen Godlesky
Director, Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education

General Information

  • History
  • Core Values
  • Program Philosophy
  • Curriculum Philosophy
  • Program Structure and Contact Information

Your Child’s Day

  • Clothing, Accessories, and Toys from Home
  • Entering and Parking
  • Facility and Staffing
  • Arrival
  • Separation and Transitional Objects from Home
  • Oral Health Care
  • Outdoors and Playgrounds 
  • Afternoon Routines
  • Departure
  • Holidays, Birthday Celebrations, and Traditions
  • Field Trips

Family Communication & Engagement

  • Assessment and Reporting
  • Blogs and Documentation
  • Calendar and Closings
  • Communication and Parent Events
  • Early Intervention and Referral Services 
  • PTO
  • Student Research and Participation

General Policies & Plans

  • Babysitting Policy
  • Background Record Check Policy
  • Child Guidance
  • Child Abuse Policy 
  • Children's Records Policy 
  • Confidentiality
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Enrollment, Withdrawal and Termination Policies
  • Food Policy
  • Head Lice Policy
  • Health Care Policy
  • Oral Health Care
  • Photograph Policy
  • Infant Sleep Policy
  • Personnel Policies
  • Staff Orientatation, Meetings, and Supervision
  • Toileting and Diapering
  • Transition and Placement Policy
  • Transportation Plan
  • Volunteers and Student Intern Policy


  • Forms
  • Fees