The new Farmington Early Childhood Center has opened its enrollment for the 2021-22 school year. It opened in September 2020 and is for children ages 2 1/2 to 4 years old.

The new Farmington Early Childhood Center has opened its enrollment for the 2021-22 school year. It opened in September 2020 and is for children ages 2 1/2 to 4 years old.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Farmington Early Childhood Center debuts amid pandemic

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published February 27, 2021

 The Farmington Early Childhood Center is equipped with new resources including areas for learning shapes, letters, colors and numbers. The facility also has a gymnasium, a gross motor room and an outdoor play area.

The Farmington Early Childhood Center is equipped with new resources including areas for learning shapes, letters, colors and numbers. The facility also has a gymnasium, a gross motor room and an outdoor play area.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Those interested in enrolling a student at the Farmington Early Childhood Center can visit https://www.farmington.k12.mi.us/early-childhood.

Those interested in enrolling a student at the Farmington Early Childhood Center can visit https://www.farmington.k12.mi.us/early-childhood.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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FARMINGTON — Despite opening in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new Farmington Early Childhood Center is finding success, officials said.

The newly constructed facility opened in September and has opened its enrollment for the 2021-22 school year. Early Childhood Supervisor Kirsten Cicchella said there are close to 140 families enrolled.

The FECC is for children ranging from 2 1/2 to 4 years old. The facility offers a variety of programming from two days per week to five days per week and can be half-day or full-day learning.

The Farmington Early Childhood Center is fully licensed by the state of Michigan and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The program’s teachers are highly qualified and receive ongoing professional development, according to the district. The curriculum is research-based and aligned with Farmington Public Schools’ K-12 curriculum.

“I think the biggest benefit for children coming to an early childhood program is to help them socially/emotionally prepare as much as we possibly can for the challenges that they will face going on to formal schooling,” Cicchella said. “Of course we have our pre-literacy, all those other great academic things, but I think one of the biggest benefits that we can give children at this age is those experiences to develop those social and emotional skills before they move on to formal education.”

While the pandemic has provided some challenges with learning, the new center has been able to use some new resources to help enrolled children learn.

While following strict guidelines to keep the children safe, the facility offers places to engage with letters, shapes, numbers, patterns and colors, while providing a gross motor room, a gymnasium and an outdoor play area.

Jen Dixon is a teacher at the FECC and said she recognizes the importance of giving kids the skills they need to succeed in a post-childhood learning environment. She said they’ve gotten great feedback about the work they’ve done thus far.

“I think for our parents, knowing that their kids are in a safe environment is probably the key for them,” Dixon said. “They are able to come in and drop their children off at the door and they are OK for the rest of the day and they enjoy their time here, they have fun and they’re learning.”

Those interested in enrolling a student can visit https://www.farmington.k12.mi.us/early-childhood. Registration can also be done at any time throughout the year as space is available.

Once online enrollment is completed, parents must call the FECC at (248) 489-3808 to make an appointment. All completed documentation is required at the appointment, and children are placed into classes once this process is completed.

Free programs are available through Head Start or the Great Start Readiness Program for qualifying families. These programs are available for 3- and 4-year-old children. Various criteria must be met for each grant program. Anyone interested in learning more about Head Start or GSRP can visit https://www.farmington.k12.mi.us/domain/1175. For others, various costs apply.

“It’s been going fairly well this week. We’re having a lot of interest in parents hoping that things are going to be shifting, that we can run a traditional school year in the fall,” Cicchella said. “So far we’ve gotten some very positive feedback about the whole process.”

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