Early Childhood Lab School

Welcome to the Early Childhood Lab School (ECL), the part-day children’s program at CCFS.

The ECL provides a model early childhood program, a site for research, and an educational experience for Child Development students. Note: Our children’s classes offer a high quality, enriching part-time experience. Infant and caregiver

The ECL enrolls 82 children in four classrooms and three large outdoor play spaces:

  • 10 infants (mornings only)
  • 12 toddlers (mornings only)
  • 60 preschoolers (morning OR afternoon options for various age groups)

Each class is staffed by:

  • A Lead Teacher with a B.S. in Child Development or Early Childhood Education
  • A Child Development Demonstration Lecturer/Specialist with an M.S. degree
  • Four or five undergraduate student caregivers enrolled in our intensive Communication and Interaction with Young Children course. These are upper division UC Davis Human Development students who enable us to provide individualized attention to children.
Children and teacher playing medical office

Our children's program is based on a philosophy of active, playful learning in an enriched environment. We strive to respect every child's own developmental needs and interests. To achieve this goal, our curriculum incorporates ideas from a variety of models, including the Reggio Emilia schools of Italy, the High Scope Active Learning Curriculum, principles of the Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC) and others to create our own eclectic approach, tailored to each age group.

Our focus is on children's social and emotional development in a setting that emphasizes nurturing relationships within a culturally diverse school community. Through a thoughtfully designed curriculum and skillful teaching, children are given many opportunities to develop early language and literacy skills, build on math concepts, explore science and nature and learn social and emotional skills that will contribute to their success in later schooling.

Research about child development is an essential part of the ECL. Parents who enroll their children grant permission for their children to be part of the naturalistic observation research that takes place daily. Several times per year parents are asked to consider other research projects that would involve direct interaction with their child. Parents receive a description of each research project approved by our Research Director and sign an informed consent form. Research assistants are supervised by faculty members and by our staff.

License numbers: 570306437 and 570311412

 NAEYC Logo NE Certified Classroom Logo                                                                    


Our program is proud to have earned NAEYC Accreditation - the mark of quality for early childhood education programs. NAEYC Standards