Welcome to TCC Westgate—The Westgate Cooperative Preschool
Parents and teachers work in close partnership at this cozy childcare center located on the ground floor of the Westgate graduate student apartment complex. The center’s one classroom accommodates up to 15 full-day and half-day preschool children, ages 2.9 to kindergarten entry. The classroom’s floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a state-of-the-art outdoor classroom designed to support nature study and outdoor play.
Westgate is unique among the TCC childcare centers in offering MIT families a cooperative experience. Parent volunteers work closely with the center’s full-time teaching director and lead teacher to provide exciting learning opportunities for the children. Families fulfill their cooperative requirement by contributing two hours per week to the center (if they are full time), taking on a variety of helping roles inside or outside the classroom. The participation of parent volunteers supports the teaching team, expands and enriches program activities, offers parents the opportunity to experience the program together with their child(ren), and helps build a close, supportive community.
The Westgate Cooperative Preschool offers parents the option of a half-day program. The center is closed during the summer months.
Meet the director—Dana Potchen
“Fostering a love for school and learning is at the heart of why I entered into the field of early education. I believe in providing a safe, structured, and inclusive setting that supports and encourages each child. My fundamental belief that children learn best through meaningful play will be strongly reflected in the curriculum at Westgate. I also believe that having a strong connection between home and school is extremely beneficial to the children, as well as the families and I am excited to see this happening in our co-op center. I started my journey of early education at Michigan State University where I taught in a preschool classroom. Before coming to TCC Westgate I was a preschool teacher at the TCC Eastgate center here at MIT. I look forward to partnering with tje families of TCC Westgate to provide an environment that supports each child’s growth.”