Discovery Place Child Care Center

Preschool in Wichita, KS 67206

Discovery Place is a year-round early childhood program offering full and half day preschool for over 200 children between the ages of 12 months to 6 years.

We began in 1985 as a private, not-for-profit early childhood program in collaboration with The Independent School. Our research-based, developmentally appropriate practices and curriculum are guided by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Current research and best practice techniques continue to influence our work, making Discovery Place one of the finest early childhood programs available.

Our integrated and well-rounded curriculum is more recently influenced by the world renowned preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, whose contributions to education have become known as “The Reggio Approach”. This approach recognizes that children learn and co-construct knowledge by interacting with their environment and through their relationship with others. At Discovery Place, teachers use an inquiry approach to observe, document and interpret children’s thinking and learning to understand, support and extend their learning experiences.

We are a community of learners who work to build strong relationships in the support of children and families. Our values are reflected in our belief system.

What we believe about children:

  • Children have great potential
  • Children are ready to learn
  • Children are guided by their interests and curiosity
  • Children have strengths and rights

What we believe about Parents:

  • Parents know their children best
  • Parents are our partners
  • Parents are respected for their cultural beliefs

What we believe about Teachers:

  • Teachers believe in children
  • Teachers learn through collaboration with others
  • Teachers are researchers

What we believe about our Community:

  • Our Community is the context in which we learn
  • Our Community has resources for learning
  • Our Community needs our support

Child Ages:
1 year - 6 years
Licenses & Accreditations:
Kansas Department of Health and Enviornment - NAEYC Accredited
Hours of Operation:
Monday- Friday 7:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Discovery Place provides a responsive and nurturing environment where children come to experience creativity and learn by discovery. Our goal is to give children the opportunity to act on the environment, explore their own potential and express themselves in original, exciting and creative ways. Discovery Place gives young children a rich early education experience by expanding their awareness and imagination through a variety of curricular areas. Discovery Place provides a warm environment that fosters developmental growth to help children become self-confident, well-integrated individuals.

The philosophy of education and pedagogy of Discovery Place reflects our dedication to what is acknowledged as best practice in early childhood education. Our view is based on the belief that children are active researchers of their world. Children construct and co-construct knowledge and this knowledge is reinforced through self-expression and reflection. This philosophy of learning stems from the legacy of constructivist, social-constructivist and systems thinking theories of John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Jerome Bruner. More recently the work of Howard Gardner, Loris Malaguzzi, Carlina Rinaldi and others influence the field of early childhood development.

We foresee a learning environment where children are viewed as proficient learners. Children have great potential, curiosity, and are entitled to an exemplary education in a positive atmosphere. Furthermore, we foresee a learning environment which supports a childs cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development, therefore supporting life-long learning and critical thinking skills. The Discovery Place environment fosters an appreciation of aesthetics and beauty, self-esteem, and care and concern for the human community, living things, and the natural world.

Children are best supported in an environment where building strong relationships is of utmost importance and that encourages children, teachers and families to learn together. Children learn by acting on the environment by themselves and with others, constructing and co-constructing their understandings as they:

  • Explore and discover
  • Inquire and hypothesize
  • Make choices and try strategies
  • Organize and interpret information
  • Propose ideas and find answers
  • Represent ideas symbolically
  • Reflect on and revisit ideas

Our child-centered program builds upon a childs individual abilities, prior knowledge, particular interests, and cultural backgrounds. Learning is cultivated by viewing the classroom environment as an educator, which is filled with rich, beautifully abundant materials for exploration and self-expression. Learning is a continuous, negotiated process that is supported by daily conversations geared at generating ideas and child involvement. Long term projects jointly encourage in-depth investigations and complex learning processes.


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