B.J. Wilkerson Memorial Child Development Center, Inc. was founded in 1991. The school was named in memory of Barbara Jean Wilkerson who was a faithful member of the Seminary Baptist Church. Barbara Wilkerson’s trademark was a mixture of love, ingenuity, and patience. Her sensitive and generous spirit distinguished her as one who was an extraordinary Christian. We will never forget Barbara’s commitment, sacrifices, loyalty and dedication as she worked to help the children of Paterson.

B.J. Wilkerson M.C.D.C.’s vision in modeling the classrooms after colleges and universities is to ingrain in the minds of the young children the importance of education. Our goal is to have higher education be as inherent in their memories as the alphabet. Exposing the children to the names of institutions of higher learning develops an innate curiosity and desire to learn what these names represent. It offers a glimpse of what is out there beyond their future. Most importantly, it allows them to dream about what will one day be possible. What children see is what they believe and hopefully one day, will achieve.


It is the Philosophy of B.J. Wilkerson Memorial Child Development Center to help children grow socially, physically, emotionally as well as intellectually, to help children succeed, feel good about themselves and be able to express their feelings in a positive and constructive manner.


B.J. Wilkerson M.C.D.C.’s Mission is to Foster the Development of the community, the Family and Enhance the Quality of Life for our Children

Ron Williams
May 1999 to Present


Ron Williams is a dedicated, driven, and accomplished Executive Director with extensive expertise in overseeing every aspect of child development, directing activity planning, staffing, and safety improvement measures across all core functions. He has strengths in strategic planning, group facilitation and child program development. He also possesses strong problem solving, project management, and organizational skills coupled with excellent communication and interpersonal abilities when conversing with children, staff members, parents, and agencies. He is accustomed to working efficiently within high-pressure and fast-paced environments.


Melissa Ford serves as the Site Director at BJ Wilkerson Memorial Child Development Center, located at 437 West Broadway. Having earned a bachelor’s degree at Montclair State University in early childhood education (EaCE),and a master’s degree in family and child studies, Ms. Ford has devoted more than 15 years to working in education with young children and their families. She is committed to creating a strong, educational program built on addressing the whole child and providing structure coupled with a love for all children. Ms. Ford believes that all children regardless of race, or economic status should receive high-quality education, curriculum and instruction, so that their knowledge, skills and abilities can be enhanced. “Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” Maria Montessori.

Melissa Ford
May 2012 to Present


Communicates and demonstrates the importance of cultural reconciliation and is committed to leading BJ Wilkerson in a context where diversity is a core value.

Collaborates with the community to expand BJ Wilkerson’s vision for how high quality preschools, before and aftercare programs can be provided to people of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Takes a holistic approach to staff management by being interested in the spiritual , physical and professional well-being and development of BJ Wilkerson staff. Has a high capacity for detail management but an even higher capacity for loving and managing people.

Implements and supervises programs that follow the center’s goals, beliefs, and procedures.

Administers the overall organization, staffing, administration, marketing and licensing of the operation.

Establishes and maintains community state human services, church and lay leadership relations.

Provide a warm, nurturing, safe, and loving environment where self-concepts are enhanced, independence encouraged, and individuality respected.

Manages the day-to-day operations of the child development.

Endorse and support BJ Wilkerson’s mission, goals,and philosophies

Leads and shares a strong passion for the redevelopment of the BJ Wilkerson community

Register Today!​

Registration begins in March for the upcoming school year. (Please see family worker) All three and four years old who have reached the age by October 31.

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