The Cuddle Zone Learning Center opened in December 1995. We are licensed by the PA Department of Human Services and the PA Department of Education. We participate in Keystone Stars and are a Star 4 facility. The Cuddle Zone is a PA Pre-K Counts site for three and four year olds and we have an on-site full day Kindergarten program. We enroll children ages six weeks through ten years old. The center is locally owned and operated by Michele McEllroy. Our highly educated staff are caring and nurturing professionals with required clearances and credentials. Lead teachers each have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (with certification for Pre-K Counts classrooms).
Hours of Operation
The Cuddle Zone Learning Center is open to provide childcare from 6:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Center is equipped with security cameras throughout the building. All classrooms are monitored from the office monitor. The lobby has a locked entrance. Access to classrooms is limited to those people on your emergency form. They must provide a photo ID in order to be admitted into the building. The doorbell is equipped with a camera that allows the classrooms to view the lobby area.
Enrollment is open to all children age 6-weeks through 10 years provided the program can meet the needs of the child and a space is available. Please call the center to schedule a tour and receive an enrollment packet. Prior to/or upon your child’s start date you will need to complete the following:
- Registration fee of $25 per family
- Signed contract
- Application and Emergency Contact/Parental Consent Form
- Copy of immunization records
- Health Appraisal Form (due within 30 days of start date)
- State Food Program Forms
- Security deposit (equal to one week’s tuition) and first week’s tuition
- IEP Forms
Creative Curriculum is the basis for all activities, interactions and materials in all of our classrooms. Our program practices are developmentally appropriate and classroom environments are set up to be hands-on and center based. Our lesson plans use the PA Early Learning Standards to identify skills the class is working on. The curriculum is focused on the developing child and meeting their social and emotional needs in order to ensure that they are ready to acquire the basic academic skills for future success. Our classrooms focus on literacy and exploration to build confidence, curiosity and a sense of community.
In addition, our program curriculum has been enhanced with many components of STEM learning over recent years. Incorporation of science, engineering and mathematic materials can be seen through the classroom environments and many and varied STEM experiences are included in daily learning activities. Students are encouraged to experiment, explore and engage with various materials to extend their natural curiosity about these topics. Pre-K Counts classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards and iPads to allow for additional exposure to technology and to provide learners with various types of educational input.
Our comprehensive curriculum integrates cognitive development, fine & gross motor skills, social / emotional development, music & movement, art and free choice play that encourages children’s natural curiosity about the world around them while providing the building blocks for school readiness skills needed to succeed in their future education endeavors.
Within the first 45 days of enrollment, an Ages and Stages Screening Tool will be completed on all children and the results will be shared with parents. Assessments are done quarterly using either the Ounce Scale for Infants and Toddlers or Work Sampling for Preschool and PreK students. We create portfolios of your child’s work and development. Parent Teacher conferences are held twice a year, in November and March.
Activities that Enhance Our Curriculum
Children may participate in a variety of activities offered at The Cuddle Zone Learning Center. At The Cuddle Zone we provide both indoor and outdoor learning experiences. So there is plenty of time for active play, as well as time to rest. Children have opportunities to learn and grow through:
- Creative Experiences: Clay and Play Dough, finger, tempera and watercolor paints, plus other art media.
- Quiet Time: Books, flannel board stories, books on tape, puzzles and manipulatives.
- Organized Games and Sports
- Social Interaction with Peers and Adults
- Science Experiments – Mathematics – Language Games
- Role/Dramatic Playing
- Music and Movement: Songs, CDs, dancing, etc.
- Fields Trips: For School Age, Kindergarten, Preschool, and Pre-Kindergarten programs
(All trips require parental permission and some may require a nominal fee.)
- Technology:Smart Boards and computers are available for educational purposes within the School Age, Kindergarten, Preschool, and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. All computers are equipped with strong controls and filters to eliminate any inappropriate materials.
- Soccer Shots, Tech Stars and other classes we find appropriate for the children are offered throughout the year. These classes are optional and are paid by the parent directly to the organization.
- Special Events with Parents:
- See school calendar for dates on these events
- Mother’s Day Luncheon
- Father’s Day Social
- Halloween Parade
- Holiday Celebration
We include Meals in Our Services
The Cuddle Zone provides nutritious meals that are prepared on site, and meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for school food programs. Please call by 10 am if you will be late but, your child will be here by their lunch time.
- Meals, snacks, and beverages are included in our tuition rates for all children on table food.
- We provide Similac Advance and baby cereal to infants.
- Whole milk is provided for ages 1 – 2. 2% milk is provided for ages 2 – 10.
- We serve breakfast from 7:30 – 8:10a.m. (7:15 for School Age Children).
- Lunch times are: 11:00 for Toddlers, 11:20 for PS2, 11:30 for PreK3, 12:00 for Pre-K1, 12:15 for Pre-K2, 12:30 for Pre-K5/Kindergarten.
- We offer an afternoon snack in all classrooms.
- Menus are included in your enrollment packets and are displayed in the lobby and classrooms. Please notify management, in writing, of any food allergies or special dietary needs your child may have.
- You may pack a cold lunch if your child does not eat what we serve that day.
We provide transportation for School Age children (Kindergarten – 5th Grade) to Mosser Elementary (Allentown), Executive Education Charter School (Allentown) and Sheckler Elementary School (Catasauqua). Transportation is included in our tuition rates for School Age children.
Communication between caregivers and parents is very important. So your questions and comments are always welcome. Furthermore, we have an “open door” policy – parents are always welcome to stop by and visit! Parent conferences are available upon your request, in addition to the scheduled conferences in November and March. Likewise, we distribute Daily Reports to all families. We use the My Kidz Day App. We ask for email addresses to communicate important information to parents. Classrooms use communication books, whiteboards and weekly calendars to provide parents with detailed information regarding daily happenings. Suggestions or any notes to management may be emailed or placed in the black payment box.
“To care for children is truly one of life’s greatest challenges. For through discovery, dreams are created. Through guidance dreams are attained, and lives are changed forever.”
All staff, (child care, preschool teachers, pre-K and kindergarten teachers, etc.) meet the requirements of the PA Department of Human Services and/or the PA Department of Education as it relates to their individual positions. Our center is licensed by both agencies. The majority of our staff have degrees in Early Childhood Education. Each of our employees has extensive experience working with children.
We require all of our staff to participate annually in a minimum of twenty-four (24) classroom hours of training in addition to basic First Aid Training, Pediatric and Infant CPR, Fire Safety, Childhood Illness and Observation/Recording Techniques. Staff participate in a minimum of three (3) eight hour in-service days. We also require our stall to have a Child Abuse History Clearance, Criminal History Clearance, FBI clearance and an annual physical. The Cuddle Zone encourages continuing education and participates in the TEACH program. All staff are familiar with state regulations, health bureau regulations, Keystone Stars, PA Early Learning Standards and Pre-K Counts requirements.
We train our staff to use the Environmental Scale for their particular age group to do self-assessments in their classrooms.
Each classroom has (a) Lead Teacher(s), Assistant Teacher(s) and Aide(s).