by Dalia Guerra

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    All parents want their children to be awesome and learn the most they can and be the smartest baby ever.  They also want to be the person who teaches them these awesome things.  Many parents work and worry about leaving their child with a stranger to watch over their bundle of joy.  I have come across many child care centers during my time as a parent and all I can say is there is not a better child care center I have seen than the Marc Cisneros Center for Young Children (MCCYC) in my town. 
    “The Marc Cisneros Center for Young Children (MCCYC) is the laboratory in which students observe and gain practical experience in working with young children and their parents. It is located on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus and was established in 1941. It meets the needs of 54 children aged three months through five years. Two fenced playgrounds provide a large assortment of play structures and equipment, shade and sun areas, and open play space. Learning centers are provided in each room to stimulate and encourage exploration and discovery. The philosophy that young children learn through creative play is evident in planned activities that enhance the children's emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development”.(http://www.tamuk.edu/cyc/index.html) 
    “Marc Cisneros Center for Young Children Philosophy is that it provides a safe and nurturing environment that promotes the physical, emotional, and cognitive development of young children while responding to the needs of their families. The program is designed to be developmentally appropriate. The concept, developmental appropriateness, includes both age and individual appropriateness. Teachers use knowledge about age appropriateness to identify the range of behaviors, activities, and materials for a specific age group. This knowledge is used in conjunction with the understanding about individual children's growth patterns, strengths, interests, and experiences (individual appropriateness) to design the most appropriate learning environment. Children's play is essential for growth. Play serves important functions in cognitive development, as well as in children's physical, emotional, and social development. Child-initiated, child-directed, teacher-supported play is an essential part of the MCCYC program”. (http://www.tamuk.edu/cyc/index.html)

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    The center is divided into 4 classrooms and are named after sea animals.  The Guppies, ages 3-24 months, are called guppies because of the obvious; they are babies that require help for their basic needs. The sharks, ages 2-3 years, are called sharks because at this age they tend to bite.  The dolphin room, potty trained 3 & 4 year olds, are dolphins because they are not quite big kids.  The Whale Room, ages 4-6 years old, are the preschool children and are the oldest.  Each room was designed with an observation room so that students can complete their required observation lab hours for their courses and for parents to go in and observe their little one and the interaction between teacher and child and their daily surroundings. The teacher doesn’t have to know you are there which is important to us parents.  There are 6 master teachers, 19 student workers, Director Lisa Turcotte who has served as director for 31 years, a training coordinator, a receptionist, and a cook. The student workers have 4 hour shifts that accommodate their school schedules.  All master teachers and student workers are required to have numerous hours of training and they attend training conferences all over Texas.

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    The ‘CYC’ hosts annual events to raise money to purchase what they need to continue to help make an awesome learning experience.  They host an Annual Fajita Fundraiser on the centers grounds and is held in the Spring semester.  People who purchase a ticket enjoy a fajita plate, kids moonwalk, mariachi, pony ride, face painting, silent auction of the artwork, and access to the two playgrounds. On September 29, 2012 the CYC hosted their 1st Annual Walking Feet, Healthy Hearts 5K Walk/Run.  Its' founders are Sharks Master Teacher Brenda Aceves and Master Teacher Monica Garcia. The photo to the right is of all contestants in attendance.  CYC also hosts an Annual Play Day (free) and invites all child care centers in town to come out and enjoy a day full of fun at the Javelina football field.   
    I have done observations required for some of my courses and have seen the interaction between teachers and children and the children with each other.  All the rooms are filled with bright colors, educational and age appropriate tools and activities that help them self explore and learn. This is an amazing center for young children.  My experience with the center is personal because my two children attended CYC.  My daughter attended until she was 5 and my son is currently attending. My son is 4 years old and came home the other day counting by 2’s and 3’s.  It is amazing to me the things he and my daughter have learned.  You want to get on the list as soon as possible because the typical waiting period is two years! Don’t hesitate to do so the moment you know you are pregnant.

10/22/2012

My name is Grace Perez and I'm enrolled in the 9:00 Technical Writing class. I really enjoyed reading your blog because I have a 9 month old baby girl. She's not enrolled in daycare yet, but it's nice to hear of such a great facility. I know that a lot of parents are apprehensive to leave their little ones in the care of others. I feel that children need the opportunity to engage with other children and learn social skills at an early age.

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10/22/2012

My name is Adriana Salinas and I'm enrolled in the 12:00p.m. Technical Writing Class. I enjoyed reading your blog, especially because I am a Student Teacher at the center. Honestly, I am extremely excited to know what you think about our center and to see that our hard work really pays off!. Thank you for such beautiful words. We love to hear things like this because it encourages us teachers to keep on doing a great job. I remember working with your son since he was a shark! and all I can say is that I have enjoyed every second I have spend with him. Teaching him how to read, write, singing his favorite song, count his numbers in English and Spanish, learn manners and many others. Thank you for such a beautiful review.

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