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Westmoreland Children's Center

5112 Allen Terrace
Bethesda, MD 20816

(301) 229-7161


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Established in 1970, we are a private, non-profit corporation. The Center provides half day, school day and full day early childhood programs and before and after-school care for school-age children. As a comprehensive educational setting, our primary objective is to provide children with a stimulating yet warm environment in which they can develop aesthetic, cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills. Our programs are licensed by the Maryland State Department of Education as both nursery school and child care programs. All of our preschool sites are accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children).

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

At Westmoreland Children’s Center, we create a setting where children are actively involved in learning at an individual pace under the supervision of caring and well-trained teachers who are attentive to each child’s particular needs. We value play and utilize the “Creative Curriculum” as a framework for our classrooms and the objectives which target all areas of a child’s development. We believe these kinds of activities enable the children to set up and resolve social and emotional conflicts, broaden their concepts of what the world is all about and strengthen their language and thought processing skills. Our ultimate goal is to assist children in developing into happy, healthy, self-confident individuals and to enjoy learning.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

More Information

  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

We place a strong emphasis on the social-emotional development of the children. We want them to feel safe & secure, feel good about themselves, develop a love for learning and to develop the independance and social skills needed to get along in a group setting.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our teachers have a wealth of both educational background and experience working with young children. They plan activities that meet the individual needs of each child, as well as the needs of the class. Teachers use observations and anecdotal records to inform parents of child progress.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our mission is to provide quality early childhood education and caring, nurturing child care in a way that values and respects each child’s individuality, and facilitates growth in all aspects of the child’s development. To carry out this mission, the Westmoreland Children’s Center is committed to employing outstanding, dedicated staff; fostering a strong school-parent partnership; and encouraging social responsibility.

A Typical Day

7:30 - 9:00 Arrival, free play & breakfast served
9:00 - 10:00 Activity choices or outdoor play
10:00 - 10:30 Circle time and morning snack
10:30- 11:15 Art, Science or Cooking project
11:15 - 12:00 Outdoor play
12:30 - 1:00 Lunch served
1:00 - 3:00 Nap/Quiet rest time
3:00 - 3:30 Wake Up & Afternoon snack
3:30- 4:30 Outdoor Play
4:30 - 6:00 Circle time & Activity Choices

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents are welcome at anytime and are encouraged to be involved as much as there schedule allows. We also have a program called "Family Sharing", which allows parents to come in and do a special activity in their child's classroom.
Frequent communication between home & school is vital to each child's success at school. We provide parents with information through daily and bi-weekly reports,newsletters, progress reports and annual parent conferences.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

The staff are experienced and willing to assist families and children with separation. They have many strategies that they use in the classroom and can assist parents in developing a morning drop-off routine that works well for the child. Each child adjusts differently and in the early weeks, the relationship and trust builds between the child and the teachers so that they feel more comfortable.