Child Development Center

The Early Childhood Education Program has operated the Child Development Center lab school on the Salem campus since 1972. The Child Development Center provides child care and kindergarten for children ages 2 1/2-6 years through full and half day programs. The Child Development Center is open to families from the community and Chemeketa Community College students, staff and faculty.


The Child Development Center is located in Building 39 on the northwest corner of the Salem campus.



Hours of Operation

The Child Development Center is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and follows the college calendar.


  • Half-day program $18.85/day
  • Full-day program $31.15/day


Families wishing to enroll their child must complete an application in order to be placed on the waiting list. Length of time on the waiting list will vary as we strive to maintain a balance of age, gender and ethnicity among children.

Applications may be brought to the Child Development Center or mailed to:

Chemeketa CDC, Building 39
PO Box 14007
Salem, OR 97309-7070


In a warm, supportive and respectful environment, the Child Development Center provides opportunities for all children to grow and learn cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally as individuals and as members of the group.

A supportive environment allows children to develop individually as they form relationships with other children. Our philosophy is based on the concept that knowledge is constructed by the child through her or his interactions with both the physical and social world. This concept is central to the dynamics of our program because it puts the children, their ideas and explorations as the pivotal points in the classroom. Thus the environment says, "Yes, you can be successful."

The teacher's role

The teacher's role is to thoughtfully and responsively facilitate children's interactions with their social and physical environment. Our program strives to provide children and families with numerous opportunities to develop nurturing and trusting relationships with each other and with the teachers; such relationships are important to creating an atmosphere of unity and problem solving.

Encouraging children and parents

Another important aspect of the CDC is to encourage children to become creative, critical thinkers and to become problem solvers socially. Our program is committed to the belief that all children and families bring value to the overall program, and we work to create an inclusive environment that respects all families' socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We encourage parents to play active roles in their children's learning through opportunities to meet with teachers and participate in the center in a variety of ways.

Honoring children

For all children to explore both their physical and social worlds, and for these characteristics to be honored; independence needs to be encouraged through choices, availability of resources and opportunities for self-reflection.

We understand that young children in our care -

  • Become increasingly autonomous and independent, developing self-discipline and responsible judgment
  • Experiment and build theories constantly testing ideas about their world
  • Learn in an integrative manner without leaving their emotions behind while working with pattern blocks, nor do they abandon intellect to problem-solve social issues
  • Grow intellectually, socially and emotionally from their interactions with others

Children need to develop an awareness of how their actions affect the environment and others around them. They need to be given opportunities to both share their feelings and to listen to the feelings of others. Self-directed play in a social context provides children with diverse abilities and disabilities integrated opportunities to share ideas, express themselves, listen to others, reflect upon their own ideas and feelings, and to negotiate and cooperate. The staff at the Child Development Center conscientiously strives to honor all these values and goals for young children as we support the whole child within the family.


The Child Development Center serves as the primary practicum and student teaching site for college students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program. This experience allows students with the opportunity to observe children and experienced teachers. In addition, students are able to apply and practice the theory learned in their courses in a licensed child care setting. Students earning the Associate's degree complete four terms of practicum at the Child Development Center.