About Early Childhood Education

Mission Statement

The mission of the Westside Early Childhood and Before & After School Programs is to provide a safe, engaging educational environment for children ages 18 months through sixth grade.  The program offers developmentally appropriate opportunities for children to grow and develop socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically with the support and guidance of competent and compassionate adults.

Philosophy Statement
Westside Community Schools recognizes that young children learn best in an environment that provides opportunities for development and growth of the whole child: physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. To nurture this development requires a philosophy that allows children time and opportunity to:

• stimulate curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

• engage in purposeful and playful work.

• develop self-motivation, self-discipline and self-direction toward purposeful goals.

• experience growth pertaining to decision-making, problem solving and creative thinking.

• express themselves through language, drawing, writing, movement and the use of materials and resources.

• participate in guided and informal learning experiences.

The Westside Early Childhood Programs incorporates the Creative Curriculum System Birth-age 5.  Developmentally appropriate practice requires teachers to teach in ways that match the way children develop and learn so as to promote their optimal development and learning. Our teachers make decisions about the education of children on the basis of three types of information:

• child development and how children learn.

• the individual strengths, needs, and interests of each child.

• each child’s family and community cultures.
The Creative Curriculum is a research-based system that combines curriculum, assessment, professional development, and family connection resources. The curriculum is based on five fundamental principles. These principles are:

• Positive interactions and relationships with adults provide a critical foundation for successful learning.

• Social-emotional competence is a significant factor in school success.

• Constructive, purposeful play supports essential learning.

• The physical environment affects the type and quality of learning interactions.

• Teacher-family partnerships promote development and learning.

The Creative Curriculum is research-based on 38 objectives for development and learning. The curriculum helps guide teachers to determine the developmental progress of each child and plan appropriate learning experiences.  The 38 objectives fall under the categories of:

• Social-Emotional

• Physical

• Language

• Cognitive

• Literacy

• Mathematics

• Science and Technology

• Social Studies

• The Arts

Program Information
Toddler Programs
Programs for children ages 18 months – 3 years are provided at our Prairie Lane, Underwood Hills and Westbrook sites. These programs are based on the developmental stages of toddlers, including activities that help with language skills, gaining a sense of independence and feeling comfortable being separated from parents. Children participate in sensory activities, songs, games, pretend play and creative art activities. Toddlers are give ample opportunity for fine and gross motor development.

Preschool Programs
We offer options for children 3-5 years of age. Children may attend ‘Preschool Only’ from 9-11:30a.m. or enroll in a full day program, which also includes a morning preschool program. Our programs combine teacher-and-child initiated activities designed to allow each child to develop at his or her own pace. Children are engaged in active exploration in a variety of learning centers.

• Hours of operation: 6:30a.m. to 6:00p.m., Monday through Friday.

• Open year round (including school breaks, snow days and summer months).

• Licensed by the State of Nebraska, Department of Health and Human Services.

• Our programs use Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum System Birth-age 5.

2017-2018 School Year Rates & Fees

• $50 enrollment fee

• $39.50 per day

• 2 day per week minimum

Preschool Full Day:

• $50 enrollment fee

• $36.50 per day

• 2 day per week minimum

Preschool Only:

• $50 enrollment fee

• $20 per day

• 2 day per week minimum

For a complete 2017-2018 Rate Sheet click here

Oakdale Early Childhood Center 402-390-8206
Prairie Lane Early Childhood Center 402-390-8209
Rockbrook Early Childhood Center 402-390-8208
Sunset Early Childhood Center 402-390-8203
Westbrook Early Childhood Center 402-390-8205
Westgate Early Childhood Center 402-390-8202
Underwood Hills Early Learning Center 402-390-8218


Julie Oelke, M.Ed

WECC Program Director