Preschool Program

Program Philosophy

Children learn through play. Through exploration and experimentation children develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. The CDP Preschool Programs provide a developmentally appropriate learning environment that blends child initiated and teacher directed activities designed to promote success for every child. Preschool Instructors plan activities to support spontaneous interactions that develop a child’s positive feelings toward learning and encourage confidence and self- esteem. The CDP Preschool staff is sensitive to diversity and welcomes all families served in the preschool program.

Program Overview

The CDP Half-Day and Full-Day Preschool Program is a community based early childhood program with goals to provide quality education and services for the families and children who are enrolled. The preschool classrooms are licensed through the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division and serve children who reach three or four years of age by September 1st of the current school year.

Classroom Ratios

Class size of 24: 1:12 Teacher/Child Ratio or 1:8 Adult/Child Ratio 
Class size of 18: 1:18 Teacher/Child Ratio; 1:9 Adult/Child Ratio

Hours of Operation

Each half-day preschool operates 3.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday. A multi-day (3-Day or 2- Day) option is available at some locations. Extended care is not available for half-day preschool children. Please check with your child’s teacher regarding the exact hours of operation for your site’s half-day program. Half-day preschool is a ten month program that follows the schedule of the Saugus Union School District calendar, August to June.

Curriculum & Goals

The CDP Preschool Programs are designed to provide developmentally appropriate experiences through a comprehensive pre-kindergarten curriculum, OWL (Opening the World of Learning). OWL prepares children for Kindergarten through playful, purposeful, and personalized instruction. OWL develops language and early literacy skills in the context of research-based and field-tested content, including math, science, and social studies.

The CDP Preschool Programs provide a warm and engaging atmosphere conducive to meet each child’s unique needs. The programs foster development in the following areas:

  • Cognition
  • Communication 
  • Creativity 
  • Social/Emotional 
  • Physical

Inside/Outside Learning & Discovery Centers

The following centers are available for exploration at various times during the school day. Children may choose from these activities in both the indoor and outdoor environments. The interest areas provide children the opportunity to explore, develop, and expand on interests, skills, and concepts introduced during group time. Daily details are available in the posted lesson plans.


  • Art Center 
The art center allows children to express themselves creatively and fosters individuality. Children are encouraged to use a variety of materials that represent different textures, shapes, and colors.
  • Writing Center 
Children develop fine motor skills as they practice writing letters and numbers. They build their knowledge of print and pre-literacy skills as they participate in spontaneous and teacher- directed pre-writing activities.

  • Science & Math Center 
Children are encouraged to develop problem solving skills and experience phenomenon in the natural environment.

  • Dramatic Play Center 
The dramatic play center allows children to use role-play to make sense of the world around them. This center also helps develop social and cooperative play skills.

  • Library Center 
Children develop pre-reading and writing skills during their preschool years. Oral language skills are encouraged through storytelling and puppet theatre. The library is also a quiet space where children can process feelings in an appropriate setting. Children may also participate in the “listening center” with CDs, tapes, books, and headphones.

  • Music & Movement Center 
Music and Movement is an environment where children can experiment and explore a variety of musical instruments.

  • Block & Manipulative Center 
Children develop fine motor skills as well as cooperative play skills, sorting, and patterning. Children develop social, language, and problem solving skills by working together and taking turns.