Child Development Center

Welcome to the Child Development Center (CDC). We are located on the beautiful 83-acre campus of Currey Ingram Academy at 6544 Murray Lane in Brentwood.
Our center is open to the public and serves children from six weeks old through Pre-K. The Infants, Ones and Twos classrooms are located in our modernized Farmhouse at the front of campus, and our Threes/Fours and Pre-K classrooms are on the main campus in John Rivers Ingram Hall, the school's Lower School building.

How does the CDC differ from other programs?

We are situated along the beautiful Beech Creek, and we use our surroundings to provide a true indoor/outdoor education for our students. Our students plant everything from pumpkins to flowers and learn about everything from the ABCs to honeybees. We also take our outdoor experiences inside, where we cook, create, read, draw and otherwise explore the many lessons that nature has to offer.

Our students also have access to indoor and outdoor play spaces and experience age-appropriate, hands-on activities in a full scope of subjects, from literacy and math activities to technology (ages 2+), music, art and cooking. We use Frog Street Press as our guiding curriculum. It covers all subject areas as well as character education and conscious behavior support.
Seeing is understanding. At the Child Development Center we understand that these are critical years of growth for your child and we welcome the opportunity to help them learn and grow in a safe and nurturing place. If you would like more information or to schedule a tour, please feel free to contact CDC Director Fawnda Messmer at or by calling (615) 507-3196.
We hope to see you soon!
    • Fawnda Messmer

      Director, Child Development Center

Child Development Center Curriculum

List of 4 items.

  • Infants

    The Child Development Center's primary goal for our Infant classroom is to create a calm, nurturing, loving environment where our youngest children will thrive. We seek to nurture the whole child through age-appropriate activities and exposure to nature, language, literacy, cooperation, fine and gross-motor skils, early math skills, music and more. Due to the frequent schedule changes that occur with infants, our teachers work closely with parents to craft a schedule that best fits their infant's needs. Our goal is always to maintain the most loving, safe, optimal environment for that child's well-being and development.
  • Ones and Twos Classrooms

    Research shows that repetitive positive interactions strengthen the wiring in the brain, even at the youngest ages. This is our focus in our Ones and Twos classrooms. Specifically, the Frog Street Press curriculum focuses on intentional instruction in the four developmental domains: social, emotional, physical and cognitive. Through these domains, activities are designed around language, social interactions, self-control, motor control and critical thinking. It is our goal to provide through curriculum a calm environment where students can connect with one another and experience a learning environment that is safe and fun for everyone.
  • Threes/Fours Classroom

    This class is a bridge between the toddler age and PreK. Children who are ages three and four are moving from parallel play to cooperative play. Children at this age also start to show emotions and feelings for their peers. Early brain development research shows children at this age are ready for introductions to more formal concrete instruction with in the areas of literacy, math, science and even social studies. The Threes/Fours students participate in whole-group activities as well as in small literacy centers. The Frog Street Press curriculum also focuses on maintaining and teaching pro-social skills through Conscious Discipline. Starting each day, the students and teacher come together during morning meeting to Unite, Calm, Connect and Commit to the classroom community which creates an environment to optimize learning and make for a successful day. This is a routine that they carry through to their Pre-K year.
  • Pre-K Classroom

    The Pre-K specific curriculum through Frog Street Press covers 10 areas of learning: Social and Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Physical Development and Technology.
    Our Pre-K students are encouraged to cooperate and collaborate with their teachers and peers. They also experience a language-rich environment with multisensory approaches to learning. In Language and Literacy, children learn through read-aloud stories, whole-group activities, and small-group student-guided activities that center around phonological awareness, concepts of print, language, alphabet knowledge and much more. In Math, teachers focus on teaching number operations, geometry and measurement. Students are also taught to count, compare and classify. Science and Social Studies are experienced through visual and hands-on activities. These lessons are theme-based and cross-curricular. Please see our Enrichment section below for details related to Fine Arts, Physical Development and Technology. 
    At this age, we continue our emphasis on Conscious Discipline, teaching children about pro-social skills and emotional control. Starting each day, the students and teacher come together during morning meeting to Unite, Calm, Connect and Commit to the classroom community which creates an environment to optimize learning and make for a successful day.

Child Development Center Enrichments

List of 6 items.

  • Art

    Art enhances fine-motor and hand-eye coordination, visual-spatial perception, and self-expression. All of our children are exposed to art activities in our classrooms. The Pre-K class also enjoys a set-aside art enrichment class weekly. During this art class, the children express themselves through many different modalities. They also work in groups and practice communication skills.

  • Cooking

    This year-round enrichment is for ages one through Pre-K. The activity encompasses preparing seasonal foods that address healthy food choices and promotes basic math, verbal and fine-motor skills, an adventurous palate, sensory exploration and confidence.  During the growing season, many of the recipes utilize vegetables grown in our school garden. Our youngest children also experience a weekly cooking activity that is used in conjunction with our weekly snack preparation. Recipes are shared with families to facilitate and reinforce skills learned at school.
  • Gardening

    Children ages one to Pre-K participate in the gardening program. Activities include soil preparation and exploration, planting seeds and seedlings, watering, and harvesting, with all activities supervised by a master gardener. Inspired by the Early Sprouts program, our children help to grow vegetables that we eat and share with our community. Some of the vegetables grown in our gardens are: snow peas, kale, carrots, butternut squash, yellow squash, green beans, tomatoes, corn, swiss chard, lettuce, zucchini and blueberries. Through these experiences, we help boost student confidence and lay a foundation for lifelong healthy eating habits.
  • Library

    The Threes/Fours and Pre-K classes enjoy time at the Currey Ingram Academy library each week. Library time helps build relationships with other members of our community and often reiterates what we are working on in the classroom such as learning about authors and illustrators and book titles. The stories that are read and told to us center around the theme, season or curricular topic that we are learning about in class. Students also learn appropriate library behaviors. Checking out books and taking care of them is something they enjoy and take great pride in. Teachers read the books students check out throughout the week to share in the individual choices each student makes.
  • Music

    All classes at the CDC receive music enrichment, from the babies learning a song of the week, to the Pre-K learning how to write notes and rhythms. All music classes aim to immerse the children in music experiences by dancing, singing, playing instruments, and listening. Music creates opportunities to work together, teaches how to use “listening ears,” encourages language development, and helps students use their creative energy in positive ways. Music also helps with memory and teaches concepts in a way that the children can understand. The kids love it so much that they go home singing the songs they learned in music class!
  • Technology

    Technology is interspersed throughout the classes in age-appropriate ways that support our curriculum. Software and tech tools play an important role allowing the students to interact with our curriculum as a group. The Threes/Fours and Pre-K teachers and students use their Promethean “smart” board to make learning more interactive and exciting. The Threes/Fours and Pre-K classes also use educational apps on iPads for personalized academic experiences.
Hear from Our Parents

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Currey Ingram Academy is an exemplary K-12 day and boarding school that empowers students with learning differences to reach their fullest potential. Since 2002, the school has been located on an 83-acre campus in Brentwood, Tenn., just miles from Nashville and Franklin. Families from 33 states and eight countries cite the school as their primary reason for moving to Middle Tennessee.

Currey Ingram Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and AdvancEd/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).