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Dean College Children's Center

99 Main Street
Franklin, MA 02038

(508) 541-1598


Innovative and inpiring preschool which is well-known in the community as an excellent preschool experience. Dean Children's Center is NAEYC Accredited.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

From the Director:

Innovative and inspiring preschool which is well-known in the community as an excellent preschool experience. Dean Children's Center is NAEYC Accredited. Our program follows the high/scope curriculum model which is a child centered curriculum, and the program uses peer conflict resolution with preschoolers.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered for himself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely." ~ Jean Piaget
A child's first school experience is pivotal - it sets the tone for future learning and builds a foundation that lasts a lifetime. We want to ensure that every child's Dean College Children's Center experience is meaningful, productive, and in keeping with current research in child development.
The Dean College Children's Center is on-campus preschool for area children ages 2.9 to 6 years. The equipment and curriculum materials in the Center have been designed to encourage maximum development of a child's social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. Students work with college faculty and the Children's Center staff to plan lessons and teach in addition to meeting with parents about their children's educational development. Peer conflict resolution is encouraged and practiced throughout the day at the Children's Center.
Many parents are familiar with the traditional unit approach to teaching, where the day is organized around a theme such as transportation, community helpers, etc. We have adopted a different model, the High/Scope Curriculum, which places its emphasis instead on 10 Key Developmental Indicators essential for success in preschool, kindergarten and beyond: approaches to learning, initiative, social relations, creative representation, music and movement, language and literacy, and logic and mathematics. Interactions and peer problem solving are an integral part of the program.
Each day is organized in a plan-do-review sequence:
1. Planning time
2. Work time/free play
3. Recall and review
Children are taught to make choices and accept the consequences thereof, a developmentally appropriate task for a 3-4 year old who is struggling for autonomy and independence.
The classrooms are organized in a variety of activity areas: art and invention, dramatic play, blocks, reading/writing, manipulative games, discovery, gross motor play, music/dance, and computers.
Teachers function as facilitators. They speak in open-ended questions:
"What else could we do with this?"
"Two children want the same bike. What can we do?"
The program develops and evolves from real events in the classroom or the children's lives: an unexpected snowstorm, a new pet, a visiting baby. We do not celebrate the seasonal holidays at school since they are overstimulating to young children in a group setting. Through peer problem solving techniques, children gain valuable skills in understanding others needs as well as their own needs.
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

Arrival, morning planning grouptime, worktime/freeplay, end of session recall grouptime, outdoor play/exercise.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents are encouraged to visit and volunteer to be part of their child's day as they wish. Teachers are available by phone and email to have longer conversations about children's development. Newsletters are included in the communication link from school to home.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year