Human Resources and Payroll

Child Development Center



Preschool Program

The Mason Child Development Center is a year-round preschool program that currently serves Mason and Non-Mason families with children 2-5 years of age.

How to Enroll

We recommend beginning the registration process before your child turns 2 years of age. To register, please complete our Registration Form and submit it in person or via email to Along with the form, we require a $75 registration fee. Initial payments must be made via personal check made payable to George Mason University.

Once your form and payment is received and reviewed, we will process your information, add you to the waitlist, and send you a confirmation email. For additional information about our waitlist procedures please review our waitlist priority system. You may contact us at any time at to acquire a status update on availability at the center; however, we can project anticipated availability more accurately as we near your desired start date.


Read the preschool program's annual calendar for this year's schedule.

Tuition and Fees

Please refer to the tuition and fees page for the tuition schedule and fees.


Mason Kids Club - Kindergarteners – 3rd graders

Mason Kids Club is a school-age program for Mason and Non-Mason families with children enrolled in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. It is offered on select dates throughout the year when the Fairfax County Public Schools are closed (e.g. teacher work days and holidays). Visit our Educating the Whole Child page to read more about our philosophy.


How To Enroll

Register for individual Mason Kids Club sessions on our registration site. Along with individual registration, please submit:

  • A one-time, non-refundable, annual registration fee which can be paid through the Mason Kids Club enrollment site. This fee can be applied anytime during the school year and will also be applied to the following summer. Should you not register for Kids Club during the school year, a separate registration fee will be required for camp.
  • The required paperwork (found below).

Calendar and Rates

Refer to the Mason Kids Club Flyer for this year's calendar and rates.

Required Forms

Optional Forms


Mason Kids Club Summer Camp - Rising 1st Graders - Rising 4th Graders

Mason Kids Club Summer Camp is a school-age, full summer program for rising 1st graders through rising 4th graders. Each year, a new and exciting theme guides the interactive summer activities. Visit our Educating the Whole Child page to read more about our philosophy.


How to Enroll

The link for enrollment is coming soon! Along with individual registration, please submit:

  • A one-time, non-refundable, annual registration fee. If you paid registration during the school year, your summer registration fee is waived.
  • The required paperwork (found below). There is no need to resubmit the below paperwork if you submitted Mason Kids Club paperwork during the school year.

Calendar and Rates

Refer to the Mason Kids Club Summer Camp flyer for this year's theme, weekly schedule, rates, and fees.

Required Forms

Optional Forms

Professional Development and Workshops













George Mason University Child Development Center's Professional Development Day
This year's topic is "Well-Being in the Early Childhood Setting"

General Information


Johnson Center, Fairfax Campus
March 23, 2019
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


To Register



The Johnson Center - #30 on the Campus Map
George Mason University
Fairfax Campus


Directions to Campus


Campus Maps



George Mason University Workshops in Early Childhood Education



A message will be posted on the George Mason University Workshops in Early Childhood Education Facebook page if the workshops are cancelled due to an emergency situation or inclement weather.

All registrations will be processed electronically online. All confirmations will be sent via email thorough our online registration link.


Michelle “Chelly” Manalastas, Program Coordinator -


The registration fee includes all sessions. Pre-registration only. Registration fees are not refundable. If we cancel for any reason, including weather, you will be given a credit valid for the next Professional Development Day.

  • Registration fees: $75 per attendee

  • Group Discount: 10% off per person for groups of five and more – Code: GROUP10

  • Free Parking: LOT K off of Roanoke River Road

  • Paid Parking: Mason Pond Deck (#41 on Campus Map) $8 for the day

For questions and more information email Michelle “Chelly” Manalastas or 703-993-4060.


If you do not have confirmation by March 15, 2019, please call to verify that we received your registration.






Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in the Mason Child Development Center! Please feel free to contact us at anytime and we will return your call or email as soon as possible.

Mason Child Development Center

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday - 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.


George Mason University Child Development Center

4402 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030

Mail Drop: MSN 5C2

Phone Number:




Staff Contacts

Shira Kulok, Director

Erin Geiger, Assistant Director

Michelle "Chelly" Manalastas, Program Coordinator

Karen Prodo, Administrative and Fiscal Assistant

Teacher Contacts

If you would like to speak or send an email to your child's(ren's) teacher they will respond as their classroom schedule allows.

Contact information for the teachers:

Class Teacher Email Phone Number
Teddy Bears

Dorothea Tyree



Suzanne Alexander



Daye “Diane” Kim



Pleasure Onyemachi



Jennifer Kin



Sandra Coleman


Social Media

Connect with us on Facebook


Administrative Team

Director, Child Development Center

Shira Kulok

Shira joined the GMU CDC team in August of 2016. Having spent the past 12 years with international early care and education provider, Bright Horizons, nine of which she served as Center Director, Shira brings a wealth of experience and expertise in areas of child development, parent partnerships, client relations, and early childhood curriculum.

Shira earned her MS.Ed in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City, and has worked with young children and families for over 20 years. She is excited to share her knowledge and creativity with the CDC team, and develop new and exciting partnerships on the Mason campus to enhance and further develop the education program of the CDC, while meeting the diverse needs of Mason families.

In addition to her passion to support the development of young children in the classroom, Shira believes in nurturing the growth of each child from within. Having personally experienced the benefits of yoga and mindfulness, Shira obtained her certification in teaching yoga and mindfulness to children from Budding Yogis at Circle Yoga in Chevy Chase, MD. Through fun, child-centered games and activities, children develop skills that promote emotional awareness, conflict resolution and compassion for others. When not practicing yoga, Shira enjoys time with her husband and 2 children in their Falls Church City home and neighborhood, as well as hiking, writing, and cooking.

Assistant Director

Erin Geiger 

Ms. Erin Geiger, began her career at the CDC in February of 2012 as the Lead Teacher of the Froggie Classroom.

She has a Bachelor of Art Degree in Sociology from Mary Washington College and her MA in Ed & HD from George Washington University. She currently holds a Professional Teaching License in Virginia with Severe Disabilities K-12 and Early Childhood Special Education endorsements.

In addition to teaching, Ms. Erin enjoys spending time at the beach, and walking with her dog, Charlie. She is currently enrolled as a PhD student at George Mason University. Ms. Erin became Assistant Director in May of 2014.



Program Coordinator

Michelle Manalastas

Ms. Chelly joined the CDC on her birthday in October of 2017.  She has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 14 years.  Prior to coming to the CDC, she was a center director for a non-profit childcare center in Reston, Virginia.   She has a Master's Degree in Education and Human Development Early Childhood Special Education from George Washington University. She also has a Bachelor's of Secondary Education in Guidance Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from De LA Salle University, Philippines.

She is a newly licensed Zumba instructor for adults and children and is pursuing a certification to teach Yoga for infant, toddlers, and school age children.  In her spare time. Miss Chelly enjoys planning parties and events, playing board games, crocheting, and traveling with family.




Fiscal and Administrative Assistant

Karen Prodo 

Miss Karen joined the CDC in March 2015 as the Fiscal and Administrative Assistant.  She has a B.S. in Management Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.  Miss Karen worked in human resources for twelve years before becoming a full-time stay at home mom.  Prior to coming to the CDC, she spent the last six years as an administrative assistant at a local area preschool.  In her spare time, Miss Karen enjoys reading, cooking, knitting and spending time with her family.



Educating the Whole Child

If the facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.               

--Rachel Carson, Sense of Wonder


Our Philosophy

The Mason Child Development Center (CDC) provides a positive and nurturing learning environment that encourages the overall development of each individual child while supporting each family’s culture, language, ethnicity, and structure. Our program’s curriculum, activities, and schedule grow out of the characteristics of each classroom’s diverse population, children’s needs and interests, as well as the teacher’s own strengths and interests. Our emergent philosophy emphasizes “following the child” through observation and meaningful interactions whereby activities develop out of the interests of the children and a scaffolding, or “stacking” of skills supports the ongoing development of each child. During early childhood, the support and development of the whole child is essential to success in both school and life. Our holistic approach, nurtures the healthy growth of children in each area of development through family partnerships, a nutritious whole food menu, and activities which provide children the opportunity to learn skills for self-regulation, and develop awareness of their own body and emotions.


Play-Based Program

Our play-based program emphasizes the principles of Emergent Curriculum and the Developmental-Interactionist Approach. Developed and studied at the Bank Street College of Education, the guiding principles of this educational framework are:

  1. Work with children is based on one’s deep knowledge of child development, and especially the interdependence of social-emotional, physical, and intellectual growth.

  2. Our understanding of children occurs through daily observation and recording achieved through teacher-child interactions, reflection of children’s work, and conversation with family members as well as colleagues who have also worked with them.

  3. A well-prepared physical environment is created for children’s active participation in their own learning

  4. The social-emotional needs of children are supported with respect and kindness. While the overall program emphasizes a sense of community, it values each individual as a unique part of that community


Social-Emotional Learning

Happiness and well-being are actually best regarded as skills, according to neuroscientist Richard Davidson. Educators and advocates of young children have a responsibility to help children develop skills to pay attention, identify and understand their emotions, and self-regulate their behavior during social interactions. Through games, activities, yoga, group reflections, and nature-based learning we support children’s well-being from the inside-out while teaching them how to reach their fullest potential as compassionate, and self-aware human beings.


Healthy Nutrition

Through our partnership with Sodexo, Mason’s food provider, we offer a menu that emphasizes whole food nutrition and locally-sourced produce (when available). Our menu is free of processed sugar, soy, and canned foods to ensure we provide meals that effectively nourish young children. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack are served daily. The Mason CDC is a nut-free environment, and we implement systems during meals to ensure the safety of children with food allergies.


CDC Garden and Sustainability

The CDC Garden program allows us to demonstrate for children first-hand, the origins of nutritious food. With the support of CDC families, staff, and members of the greater Mason community, we work together with children to nurture our garden and harvest its rewards. Our work together builds community, brings children and families closer to nature, and develops each individual’s potential as a steward of our earth. The CDC is proud to take part in Mason’s sustainability mission through gardening, composting, and rain-water recycling.


Mason Partnerships

Partnerships formed with constituents across campus enhance our program and add value to our sense of community. Countless departments support our efforts to share unique experiences, whether it be in the art studio, robotics lab, HR, CEHD, Mason Shuttle, or the Department of Sustainability to name just a few, which enhance our program with diverse expertise and learning spaces. CDC children experience the beauty and spirit of Mason’s campus throughout the year during class walks around campus. WE ARE MASON!


<h1>Fun Photos</h1> - Enjoying the outdoors - My Site Name