The Early Childhood Center provides a comprehensive curriculum for young children that seeks to educate the whole child by addressing the cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs of young children in a supportive and nurturing learning environment. Our goals are to build a solid academic foundation while instilling a true love of learning. Instruction includes hands-on activities and extensive opportunities for higher order thinking, deep knowledge, substantive conversation, and connections beyond the classroom.
Homeroom teachers at the Early Childhood Center balance exploration and play with teacher-directed activities in literacy, math, and social studies on a daily basis. Specialist teachers meet with students on a weekly basis for instruction in library, music, physical education, and science with the addition of Spanish and computer class in Junior Kindergarten. Art and technology are integrated into the classroom instruction on a regular basis.
Cranbrook strives to build a strong community and this begins at the Early Childhood Center. Our youngest students have the unique opportunity to use all of our 319 acres to learn about nature, art science and more. We make great use of our grounds which provide abundant possibilities for bringing curriculum to life. For example, you will regularly find our students taking a sculpture walk or collecting leaves to learn about the change of season or the wide variety of trees on campus. Students throughout the ECC make trips to the Cranbrook Institute of Science, Cranbrook Art Museum, Wallace Ice Arena, formal gardens, and walk through the Cranbrook Grounds.
Lunch at the Early Childhood Center is as much a part of our work with children as what we do in the classrooms, and this important learning process begins with our youngest students. Children enrolled in full day pre-kindergarten, full day junior kindergarten, and senior kindergarten eat the school prepared lunch, and meals are served and eaten family style.
Because lunch is viewed as an extension of the educational day, all teachers and administrators eat with students. This family style approach is unique in the opportunities it offers. We are able to monitor eating and independent food choices. We encourage trying new foods and reinforce good eating habits. Finally, family style meals give us the opportunity to reinforce good table manners and social etiquette to model positive, inclusive conversation. The menu rotates every six weeks and strives to meet or exceed USDA and state mandates for school lunch programs.
All lunches and snacks during the school day are provided by the school and are included in the price of tuition.
Early Drop Off
To support varied family schedules and working parents, before school supervision is provided at no charge. Before school care for pre-kindergarten (three-year-old), junior kindergarten (four-year-old) and senior kindergarten (five-year-old) students begins at 7:45 am in the Multipurpose Room. Parents or older siblings are required to escort pre-kindergarten students to the room for sign-in with a teacher. Children are supervised by four teachers and escorted to their own rooms about 8:10 to begin classes.