Our program is designed to support our core values and beliefs for children, families and staff:

  • We believe that each day should be filled with wonder, joy, discovery and inspiration.
  • We believe that children are born with a natural ability to learn and that it is through play that they best develop skills to problem solve, investigate, and think critically.
  • We believe that each child’s learning experience is extended and deepened by, not led by, responsive teachers.
  • We believe that the environment, both indoors and outdoors, and the materials within, should be carefully selected for the potential to enhance learning and discovery.  We value open-ended materials and those that connect us to nature.
  • We believe that parents are children’s first teachers and that through collaborative and respectful family relationships, children flourish.

McKendree UMC Day Care has been inspired by the amazing early education programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The Reggio Emilia approach to education is committed to creating a learning environment that enhances and facilitates children’s construction of their own understanding of the world. We view the Reggio experience as a resource and inspiration to help teachers, parents, and children as they work together. Key aspects of this approach include:

  • a respectful image of the child
  • rich and meaningful play
  • emergent curriculum
  • in-depth project work
  • documentation of children’s work
  • development of representative skills
  • teachers as researchers (and supporters of children’s investigations)
  • the environment as the third teacher
  • collaborations with families

To learn more about the Reggio Emilia philosophy:

What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?

Principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach

Values of the Reggio Emilia Approach


At Music U, McKendree’s exceptional music program for children aged, 1 1/2 to 5, children are respectfully introduced to a variety of musical genres and encouraged to fully “experience” music through hands-on exploration, age appropriate instruction, and total immersion with live music.


We are proud to be a part of the Child Care Aware Network. Tuition subsidies are available for qualifying ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY families.