Program Description

The Young Children's Program is an early learning program operated by the James Madison University's College of Education.  Its curriculum, environment, and organization are based on professional standards and research related to learning and development of young children.  The program operates Monday-Friday with two full day 4-year old classes and a morning session for 3-year and 4-year olds. 

The Young Children's Program recognizes that children's development is best facilitated through cooperative efforts of families and school.  Family members are welcome contributors to the ongoing curriculum and are encouraged to be involved in ways that support their children's adjustment and growth.  Avenues for communication are varied and personal in order to meet the needs of all families. 

The YCP is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Click here to see the YCP brochure.

Program Goals

The Young Children's Program provides an environment designed to help each child:

  • Grow in independence and self-sufficiency
  • Develop enthusiasm and skills for learning
  • Grow in the ability to interact positively with others
  • Increase personal awareness and self-discipline
  • Grow in the ability to use language effectively
  • Value individual creativity and self-expression
  • Construct knowledge through experience and inquiry
  • Develop and refine motor skills
  • Make choices that support personal wellness

The Young Children's Program provides an environment designed to help families:

  • Participate meaningfully in their children's educational experience
  • Grow in their understanding of child development and appropriate early education
  • Develop a support network with other families in the program
  • Become more familiar with family support resources within the community
Young Children's Program Faculty

Pat Kennedy

Director - Young Children's Program


Dr. Teresa Harris

Professor, Department Head


Lauren Caffrey

Teacher - Young Children's Program


Kathryn Pallister

Teacher - Young Children's Program


Becca Paulson

Teacher - Young Children's Program


Joanna Showalter

Teacher - Young Children's Program


Ebony Cleveland

Teacher Assistant - Young Children's Program


Emily Heatwole

Teacher Assistant - Young Children's Program


Jessica Levine

Teacher Assistant - Young Children's Program

Young Children's Program Staff

Ingrid Garcia de Lazo

Administrative Assistant

Young Children's Program Student

Lindsey FitzGerald

Graduate Assistant and Teacher Assistant - Young Children's Program

Back to Top