About Our Center

Darlington Early Childhood Center (DECC) is housed at St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church, but does not have a religious component to its’ child care program.  DECC began in 1985 as a service to the local community, which continues to need a high quality, early education program. 

We have 5 classrooms and care for children ages 18 months old to 5 and 6 years old in our full-day Kindergarten program.  We are open from 7am – 5:30pm.  The DECC staff are early education professionals who care deeply for the children in their classrooms.  They model patience, kindness, and social skills in a fun indoor and outdoor setting.  Darlington Early Childhood Center has been fortunate to have many teachers on staff for a number of years, such as Miss Candy who has been here since 1986 and Miss Janice who started the toddler program 20 years ago and still teaches in the toddler class .  Staff  pictures will be added. 

The child care program at DECC has been designed to meet the needs and interests of young children at their individual level in development.  To promote optimum growth and learning in each child the curriculum is designed to meet each child’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive developmental needs.  A play-oriented approach is used to develop each child’s abilities and interests. 

Our center offers daily physical activity, quiet time (including daily reading and rest time), group programs, individual activities, meals, snacks, and free time.  We have a large variety of fun, age-appropriate and educational toys for the children in the program.  We celebrate all holidays and have a large end of year celebration in June.  We encourage you to visit at any time and especially come for the “Lunch with Mom/Dad/Grandma” days, etc.  DECC prepares daily sheets and weekly newsletters in the toddler room, and monthly newsletters and calendars for all the other rooms so you always know how your child is doing and what they are working on.  Any illness or injuries are always reported to you as well.  We have one adult per every 6 children in the toddler room and one adult per every 9 children in the other rooms.     


The educational curriculum, focuses on language arts, social studies, creative arts, science, mathematics and nutrition and will provide an easier transition to a child’s elementary school years.  Socialization skills, such as sensitivity to others, the importance of sharing, co-operation, good citizenship, self-worth and respect for one’s self and others, are positively reinforced.  These socialization skills are intended to foster a child’s positive self-image; to encourage relationships of trust with adults and other children, to promote the child’s developing sense of autonomy and independence and to better enable the child to assume his/her role in the social environment.

Your child’s safety and security are of utmost importance to us.  Our building doors are locked all day and we do check IDs to be sure that adults doing pick up are on the “authorization to pick up” list.  Our building is cleaned every night, toys are sanitized weekly, and we do a major cleaning every summer.  All DECC staff are CPR and First Aid certified and these certifications are updated every two years.  All staff complete 20 hours per year on workshops and trainings offered by the Center for Early Learning Professionals. 

As part of our commitment to your child, DECC is licensed by the Department of Children, Youth and Families in RI and has received a BrightStars rating of 2 stars.  BrightStars encourages our on-going education for our staff and information on best practices in child care and early education programs. 


Please contact the director, Melissa Tourgee, at any time to schedule a tour of our classrooms.