East Carolina Kiddie College (ECKC) is located in Greenville/Winterville area. It is an inclusive child care center where every child matters, located at located at 4024 Old Tar Road.
“Our philosophy here at ECKC is that everything is individualized. Every child is an individual. There is not a ‘box set’ curriculum. Even though we use individualized research-based strategies, because we know that just like every adult, every child is different, says Director Dr. Wendy Gray Hudnell..
The 8500 sq. ft. ECKC facility is designed to provide care to “typical” children – those with no obvious delays whether a cognitive, emotional or physical disability – as well as children with delays in speech, fine motor, cognitive, gross motor, social delay or those diagnosed with a severe/profound or medically-fragile condition.
The center is opening one of the first autism intervention preschool classrooms in Eastern North Carolina, Wendy reports. “Landry’s Learning Lab,” named after her late husband, Landry Gray. Landry passed away in 2009 of brain cancer after starting up the H.U.G.S. program for autistic preschoolers with Pitt County Schools. It will be the only such learning lab in Eastern North Carolina. Behavioral Consultation & Psychological Services (BCPS) agency will aid in this classroom model.
In reality, special needs children are just a small percentage of the children who attend ECKC. The center allows children (ages 0 to 12) to enjoy a 5-star program, cafeteria for the youngsters, a safe environment, and licensed teachers who she says are like her family. There’s even a “motor room” with a ball pit where kids can still get play time during inclement weather. A space for therapists to do speech or physical therapy is provided for those who need it.
ECKC also provides a kindergarten preparation program for preschoolers that allows them to successfully transition to kindergarten.
When Wendy first meets a family, “she takes it from the perspective right when they walk through the door that this is individualized. They might be of a different culture, but we’re not here to change a culture, we’re here to serve the needs of that child specifically,” Wendy says. She even gives out her personal cell phone number, so parents can call or text up to 10pm at night if they have any questions about their child’s care.
The motivation to help children both typical and atypical is the result of Wendy’s experience overseeing federal grants for preschoolers, working as an administrator within the Pitt County school system and briefly serving as an evaluator for the ECU School of Medicine within the Department of Pediatrics.
Wendy’s three children, Drake, Kyler and Micah and husband John Hudnell round out her personal life.
Families interested in ECKC should call 252-756-7002. More details can be found at www.eastcarolinakiddiecollege.com.