SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Children attending the Southwest Texas Child Development Center will soon be crawling, leaping and climbing on new and improved playground equipment thanks to a $48,161 award from the Rural Capitol Workforce Development Board. The funds will allow for the development of shade structures and fall zones, as well as improvements and additions to climbing equipment. According to center officials, the much-needed improvements, scheduled for completion in September, will better serve the needs of the three distinct age groups attending the center and meet the goals of National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation standards.
The center currently serves 101 children, ranging in age from three months to five years. The three playground areas provide outdoor recreation activity for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. According to Dawn Leach, director of the Child Development Center, “A diverse, safe and developmentally appropriate outdoor environment contributes to the quality of the curriculum and supports all areas of a child’s development.”
Established in 1977, the center serves as a lab environment for the family and consumer sciences department. As part of their course work, child development students observe child and teacher behaviors, work in the classroom under the supervision of a qualified teacher and participate in a semester long internship at the center. In turn, the Child Development Center offers a realistic and diverse training environment for future child care professionals. Other SWT departments also use the center for approved research projects.