Early Childhood Laboratory School
Learning and Enrichment for Young Children
For more than 30 years the Early Childhood Laboratory School of Harper College has provided a warm, nurturing environment in which children feel secure and can learn and grow. The center provides an exemplary educational environment for young children and serves as a model of teaching methodology for Harper's early childhood education students.
The Early Childhood Laboratory School offers an enriched learning environment and personalized care for your child. Full or half-day programs are available for children of students, faculty, staff and the community. The needs of young children are met with a child-centered curriculum designed to encourage safe exploration and discovery.
The classrooms are divided into interest centers and are designed to encourage children's learning through investigation, exploration and problem-solving.
Download the Early Childhood Laboratory School Handbook (pdf).
Our Student to Teacher Ratio is well above the average, with 4 adults for every 20 students. This award-winning facility has been caring for and educating children for more than 33 years.
The curriculum is based on the philosophy that young children learn through active exploration in an environment which is rich in materials and opportunities to converse, socialize, work, play and negotiate with others.
The classrooms are planned to encourage curiosity, exploration and problem-solving in an atmosphere of warmth, affection, and respect for each child.
Teachers plan experiences based on children's interests and appropriate educational concepts.
Children may work individually or collaboratively and may choose whether or not to participate in a project. Children are actively involved in experiences which include foundations of math, science, social studies, creative art, language arts, music, movement and dramatic play.
All interrelated aspects of the child's growth and development are considered - intellectual, social, emotional, physical and creative.
Activities, experiences, and teacher-child interactions are constantly being measured and evaluated in terms of the following programs goals.
Block Center: A variety of large and small blocks, wheel toys, model animals and people
Dramatic Play Center: Child-sized kitchen, dress-up clothes, mirror, props for other role-playing situations
Group Time: The children meet to share ideas and experiences, sing songs, perform fingerplays and discuss topics for the week.
Free Choice Time: Children are encouraged to explore the teacher-prepared environment. Each child is free to choose his/her own activities. Teachers function as facilitators, interacting with the children and extending their learning experience.
Language Center: Story books, tape player with earphones, simple reference books, flannel board and story pieces, puppets, typewriter, alphabet and numeral board, comfortable pillows
Manipulative Center: Small motor, hand-eye coordination activities such as puzzles, Lego® pegboards, building apparatus, math and alphabet games
Music Center: Record player, records, tapes and compact disks, rhythm instruments
Science Center: Magnifying glass, plants, animals, rocks, shells, seasonal nature items
Campus Field Trips: Children visit college departments.
We keep in touch through newsletters, progress reports, and open houses. Parents are welcome anytime!
Participate in classroom activities with your child or use our state-of-the-art observation room. Equipped with cameras and microphones you may observe your child from behind a one-way mirror.