In the early 1970’s, Tarrytown United Methodist Church members started a babysitting coop that was housed at the church. A few years later, the members who were part of the babysitting coop hired paid workers to watch their children 2 days a week. In the late 1970’s, the church hired Ouida Wright to direct the 2-day program and oversee the paid workers. There were two classes at that time – a nursery class and a 2-year-old class.
In 1986, Nancy Sassman directed the program that was then being called Mother’s Day Out. There were two separate two-day programs. Under Nancy’s direction, a 3-year-old class was added.
In May, 1988 Jan Stovall was hired to direct the program. She began the process of licensing the Mother’s Day Out program with the Department of Family and Protective Services. During her tenure, a toddler class and a four-year-old class was added along with the addition of two more classes at the 2-year-old and 3-year-old levels. In the early 1990’s the name of the program was changed to Children’s Day Out.
As stated in the CDO Parent Handbook, our philosophy is learning through play. There have been several articles in educational publications about the value of play. Child Care Information Exchange published an article entitled “Taking Play Home: Encouraging Parents to Encourage Play”. The article states, “Our culture tends to view play as the opposite of academic accomplishment, rather than a means to getting there . . . play is often said to be a child’s work – – -work that comes naturally to the child.”
Just as a child crawls before walking, a child will play parallel with another child before they play cooperatively. The teachers at CDO are continually guiding the children with the appropriate language to use to communicate successfully with one another. Giving children the words to communicate their wants and needs to others makes everyone’s life easier.
There are many different types of play and children need all types of play to thrive and learn, including play that stimulates the development of gross motor muscles and skills, fine motor muscles and skills, cognitive capacity, the imagination, sensory perception skills and social skills. All of these types of play are incorporated into the CDO curriculum at each age level.
Children’s Day Out is subject to and follows the Minimum Standard Rules for Licensed Child-Care Centers prescribed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. A copy of these rules is located in the Director’s office along with the centers most recent Licensing inspection report. Parents may contact the local licensing office by calling 834-3195. The DFPS child abuse hotline number is 1-800-252-5400 and the DFPS website is www.dfps.state.tx.us.