get to know us
about the center
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 Kindergarten and a summer camp option for students who have completed grades K thru 5. 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).
Enrollment is open to all children age 6-weeks through Kindergarten and a summer camp option for students who have completed grades K thru 5 provided the program can meet the needs of the child and space is available.
Please call the center to schedule a tour and receive an enrollment packet. Prior to your child’s start date you will need to complete the following:
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 learning goals. 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, a Social/Emotional Screening Tool (ASQ) 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, Teaching Strategies for Preschool and PreK students, or Report cards for Kindergarten 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:
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.
We provide the following
Communication between caregivers and parents is very important. 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. We distribute Daily Reports to all families. We use the SeeSaw App as our online learning platform as well as an additional tool to communicate with families. We also 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 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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, and Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training. Staff participates in a minimum of three (3) eight-hour in-service days. All staff are required 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 and safety 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, Assistant Teacher and, some have an additional Aide.