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Dr. Day Care: Family, Youth, and Child Services

By Susanne Carter

Dr. Day Care Learning operates six day care learning centers in Rhode Island, with programs for children ages six weeks to 5 years and an after-school program for children ages 5-12. The mission of Dr. Day Care is to provide family, youth and child services in a safe, structured, and nurturing environment through a team of dedicated professionals. The center has six locations: Cumberland, West Warwick, Foster, Pawtucket, Providence, and Smithfield.

Dr. Day Care Center utilizes the Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum and the Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards (RIELDS) to create objectives and goals that guide children in their learning and exploration of their environment.

"We use authentic child assessment that is aligned with the RIELDS and Creative Curriculum," says VP of Education and Compliance Tracy Cheney, "Our high quality education program provides experiences for our children and families to grow and learn together as a family, and as part of the community. We encourage families to take an active part in their children's education."

Children who participate in the program learn skills in Physical and Motor Health Development, Social and Emotional Development, Language Development, Literacy, Cognitive Development, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Creative Arts.

Program activities are designed to provide a balance between learning and playing. "We believe that children learn best through play," says Cheney. "As children move through their day, there are many teachable moments." Dr. Day Care believes that allowing children to actively participate in their learning experiences is crucial to their development.

Dr. Day Care was founded by Mary Ann Shallcross Smith (Dr. Day Care), who has been an early childhood and school-aged educator in Rhode Island since 1972. Dr. Shallcross Smith has studied child development and child behavior extensively. She has traveled to more than 50 countries, studying child development and parent-child interactions that are unique to each culture. Dr. Shallcross Smith has also visited many schools and daycare centers during her travels.

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