History of the CDC
Starting in 1997, Carol Chidsey, a Pinedale local started the CDC as an in-home non-profit preschool with a focus on 'learning through play'. Prior to starting the CDC, Carol worked at Pinedale Preschool and the Children's Learning Center. Carol has a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education. She began with 12 students total, ages 2 - 8 with half-day and full-day options, as well as after school programs. Carol saw the need to help out our Pinedale families, as well as offer an important early childhood education. In 2000, Carol and her preschoolers moved into what is now the current location of the CDC. With the help of donors, specifically Gayle McMurry Kinnison, the Weezie Foundation, the Ruth & Vernon Taylor Foundation (Sally Swift) and Encana, the CDC was able to start its growth. Carol chose the location of the CDC specifically because it was located near the Sublette Center. She saw the relationship with her daughter and her parents grow into something magical and thought the residents at the Sublette Center would benefit from preschool relationships as well. From the beginning, Carol participated in the Wyoming CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program), allowing preschoolers to receive healthy meals, something parent's particularly appreciated.
In 2012, our Outdoor Classroom changed into what it is today. With the majority of funds coming from Encana, our preschool gained a unique Outdoor Classroom with the assistance of the Nature Explore Organization. Currently, the CDC is 1 of 3 certified Outdoor Classrooms in the State of Wyoming, among 400+ in the nation.
In today's world, the CDC has indeed grown. There are now 3 age groups; 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5, a total of 30 students in the school on a daily basis, and a waiting list for future students. The same philosophy remains; to instill a joy for learning and to provide quality and affordable preschool programs for our Sublette County families. Although the CDC has eliminated its after school program, and the half-day option, we still continue to visit the residents at the Sublette Center on a weekly basis and remain open year-round to children ages 2-5. We have 3 full-time Teachers, 1 Assistant Teacher, 1 Head Cook, and an Executive Director.
We want to thank Carol Chidsey for her efforts in creating the CDC and allowing the school to grow over the years, becoming a leader in early childhood education.
The Children’s Discovery Center provides quality, affordable early education and childcare program with a focus on environment and community. Our mission is to maintain a safe, healthy, affordable and nurturing environment where the developmental and educational needs of children are addressed while providing engagement with the natural world; where nature is an integral and joyful part of daily learning.
Philosophy & Goals
The staff of the CDC believes children learn best by doing, creating, and exploring. Developing an interest and joy in active learning is our center’s goal. Children see play as merely fun, but we view it as a crucial tool in the child’s development. We guide these needs by providing an age-appropriate program in which we work with the specific needs of individual children in the areas of:
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
The philosophy of the Children’s Discovery Center is based on the image of the child. We see the individual child as having the right to quality education. We respect that the child is the co-constructor of knowledge. This means that the children’s interests and their innate curiosity help choreograph our curriculum. We support the children’s exploration of their environment as natural researchers, and their need to be interactive learners. Through hands-on activities and learning centers, teachers facilitate and encourage exploration and learning at all ability levels.
We focus on the process of learning in all its intricacies, not just the end result or the product. The learner must be trusted and supported to follow the creative processes without the worry of what the finished product may be.
As a licensed childcare facility, the CDC strictly adheres to the Wyoming Child Care Licensing Rules.