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Programs & Enrollment

Formative Years Growing and Learning Center creates a loving, safe, and nurturing educational environment for all children in our care. Our developmentally based curriculum follows The Creative Curriculum which is uniquely designed by each teacher to meet their classroom needs and structured to teach young children the way they learn best: through play and hands-on activities. We make sure learning is fun for all children at every level!


Our programs meet the total needs of growing children in the areas of social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Our well-rounded curriculum includes art, sensory, music, language, math, motor, and dramatic play. The classrooms are set up in learning centers, which includes blocks, dramatic play, library and literacy, gross and fine motor, observational discovery, and art. Outdoor play is important to a child’s physical development and is included in both the morning and afternoon. We also provide learning opportunities outside the classroom with a variety of field trips around the community. We feel it is important to learn from and about being a part of our community.

We start in our infant rooms to build the foundation for success in each child’s education and life. Our programs are taught by trained staffed in all rooms. As your child advances through our center, they build upon these skills they learn as they grow and discover the world year after year. 

The Creative Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum objectives for development and learning span from birth through third grade. They enable our teachers to see  your children’s development and learning along a progression across the whole of the early childhood years.

The objectives cover 10 areas of development and learning, including broad developmental areas, content areas, and English language acquisition. Many objectives also include dimensions that guide our teachers’ thinking about various aspects of that objective and help clarify what it addresses in order to best serve your children while they are in our care.

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Our Programs

Classroom at Formative Years Growing & Learning Center.

Formative Years Classrooms

Early Learning Skills

Early learning is based on everyday experiences and explorations. Every moment in our care is chance to learn something new.

Development Assessment

The Creative Curriculum allows us to provide a comprehensive overview of your child’s development from when they first start through kindergarten. 

Trained Staff

Our staff are all certified in CPR Infant First Aid, Universal Precautions, and are Mandatory Reporters. They have had over 20 credit hours of training in childcare best practices and other additional trainings.

The Discoverers- Six weeks to 12 Months

Now Enrolling for 2019-2020 4-year-old Preschool


Registration Now Open

Formative Years Growing and Learning Center, in partnership with Ames Community School's Nothwood Preschool Center provides a FREE preschool class. This class is offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 8:30am- 11:30am.  


Year Round, All Day Care

Formative Years Growing and Learning Center provides wrap around care from 6:30am-8:30am and 11:30am-6:00pm on days when preschool is in session and all day on Wednesday. Meals and snacks are provided. We also include no school day and snow days!

Preschool Registration Documents

Please download and fill out the registration form and bring it along with the students original birth certificate, most recent physical exam and updated immunization record.

School Aged Care


Summer Day Camps

We provide fulltime care throughout the summer for school aged children from ages 5-12. Every week is filled with something new, from field trips to Ames, Des Moines and surrounding communities to cooling off every Wednesday at the pool.

Before and After School Care

We provide before and after school care for students that attend Northwood, Edwards or Sawyer Elementary. We open at 6:30 am to 6:00 pm. Our staff will handle getting your children on and off the bus.

Holiday Break Drop in Care

Need care for Spring Break? We've got you covered, we offer drop in care for all school breaks.

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Looking for childcare enrollment in Ames?

Bring this document with you to your tour to get a leg up on the enrollment process.

New Family Enrollment Form (pdf)