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Development center to hold open house

Bridget Feeney | Friday, January 18, 2013

The Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDC) on the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campus will hold a series of open houses in the next month for prospective parents to gain a better understanding of the program.

Saint Mary’s first open house is scheduled for Jan. 20 and Notre Dame’s first is Jan. 27. Kari Alford, program director at Saint Mary’s, said these open houses are a great way for families and children to explore the options and education available at ECDC.

“Open houses are designed for families interested in enrolling their child at ECDC,” she said. “Open houses are a time for families to meet some of our staff, have a tour and to find out more information about our program and the registration process.”

Senior Annie Root, who works part-time at ECDC on the Saint Mary’s campus as a teacher assistant, said she hopes the open houses are a success.

“The open houses are a great way for the parents to see what kind of atmosphere we have at ECDC,” she said. “I think we have a lot to offer and I’m excited for the parents to see that.”

According to Alford, Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s each have an ECDC on campus that serves different ages.

Notre Dame’s ECDC was founded in 1994 and is for children the age of two until they reach kindergarten. Saint Mary’s ECDC, founded in 1971, educates young children ages three to five. Children at both centers can attend preschool schedule for a morning, an afternoon, or an entire day. ECDC also offers summer recreational day camp opportunities for children through age 9, according to Alford.

“We are a nonprofit program accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and licensed by the Indiana Bureau of Child Development and staffed with degreed lead teachers,” Alford said.

While anyone from the community is encouraged to attend the open houses if they are interested in enrolling their children at either the Saint Mary’s or Notre Dame ECDC, the centers accepts children who are associated with the schools first.

“ECDC enrolls families who are affiliated to ND or SMC in the categories of faculty, administration, staff, student, and alum,” Alford said. “If ECDC-SMC has enrollment openings after enrolling affiliated families, non-affiliated families from the community are enrolled.”

A complete list of open house times for Saint Mary’s ECDC, located in Havican Hall, and for Notre Dame ECDC, located on Bulla Road, can be found by visiting the website www.nd.edu/~ecdcnd/. Anyone with questions about ECDC or the open houses can contact Alford at kalford@saintmarys.edu.