Our curriculum is based in research and theory and focuses on four areas of development: Social/Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, and Language.


The comprehensive development of each child is essential; therefore, all areas of growth and development - physical, social, emotional, and cognitive - are important. The development of a positive sense of self is of utmost importance as children need to feel worthwhile and competent in order to reach their optimal potential. Therefore, we provide a safe, nurturing environment where adults facilitate children's play and provide opportunities to explore ideas and make discoveries.


The teacher's role is critical in stimulating, challenging, and developing the potential of each child. Teachers are knowledgeable of the principles of child development and in the individual interests, abilities, and needs of each child in their care.


The environment plays an essential role in a child's learning. The Child Development Lab has a play-oriented and child-centered environment. According to research in the field of child development, children need concrete objects and materials to play with, manipulate, and explore before they will be successful at mental representation, manipulation, and discovery. During free play in the classroom, children move freely and make choices from a variety of learning centers which allows them to engage in different types of play and practice a variety of learning skills. The centers include:

  • dramatic play
  • blocks
  • science
  • art
  • sensory play
  • writing
  • library
  • manipulatives/table games

Outside play affords each child the opportunity to engage in imaginative play, exploration of the natural environment, and gross motor activities.


Teacher directed activities during large and small group times are not traditional “paper and pencil lessons” but hands-on activities. During these activities children have the chance to:

  • classify, measure, group, sequence, or seriate objects
  • experience, explore, and discuss objects, materials, or ideas
  • create and construct from familiar or new materials
  • cook and sample different foods
  • listen to, tell, and/or write stories
  • listen and/or move to music
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