Valley Catholic Early Learning School (VCELS) is a state-licensed certified center providing early childhood care and education for children ages eight weeks to pre-kindergarten. VCELS also offers after-school activities – plus spring break and summer programs – for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

VCELS offers a holistic approach to teaching young children which includes physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual opportunities for growth. In supporting the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon mission, VCELS is committed to enhancing the lives of young children through creative teaching, nurturing guidance and being loving examples of Jesus’ love. VCELS recognizes that children learn through play which is the most important activity in their lives. Play is the work, or occupation, of childhood. It is a crucial ingredient not only for neurological growth but it also supports the cognitive and physical skills a child needs throughout his/her life.

When you look in the classroom windows at VCELS, you will find children busy in their work. When they knead and roll playdough, they are building the hand muscles they need in order to correctly grip a pencil as they learn to write. When they put on “dress-up” clothes, they are learning self-help skills, learning to cooperate with their peers and using their imaginations. When they are throwing balls in the playground, they strengthen hand and eye coordination, use their bodies in challenging tasks which also strengthens their self esteem.

Play is hard work. There is so much to learn and so little time between birth and kindergarten to squeeze it all in!