About the ECC

Purpose and History

As the laboratory school within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the CSU Early Childhood Center (ECC) serves a three-fold mission of teaching, research, and service.

  • Our teaching mission is provide hands-on learning opportunities for CSU students interested in careers working with children and families.
  • Our research mission is to promote diverse opportunities for research related to children, families, and early childhood education.
  • Our service mission is to provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate-programming for young children in partnership with families.

The ECC has been in existence for over 85 years. The program originally opened in 1929 at the site where the Rainbow Restaurant now sits on Laurel Street. At that time it was a summer-only program. The preschool moved to Rockwell Hall in 1972 and in 1974 the Village Child Care Center opened across the street from the Gifford building. In 1976 the ECC moved into the Gifford Building and in 2012 the ECC expanded its services to include infants and toddlers. In January 2013, the ECC moved its operations from the Gifford building to its current location at 223 South Shields.

Schedule and Hours of Operation

  • Open year round. Families may choose a 10-month (August through May) or a 12-month (August through July) schedule.
  • Open to children and families from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm; Monday through Friday.
  • Our calendar closely follows the CSU holiday schedule. We are closed for two weeks each December/January for winter break.

The ECC is licensed to provide care for children between the ages of 6 weeks to 6 years.

Infant/Toddler Program

The ECC has three classrooms devoted to infants and toddlers.

  • We enroll children between the ages of 6 weeks to 1 year in our infant room.
  • We enroll children between the ages of 12 months (and walking) to 24 months in our younger toddler room.
  • We enroll children between the ages of 24-36 months in our older toddler room.

Preschool Program

The ECC has four classrooms devoted to preschool age children.

  • We have two younger preschool classrooms for children between the ages of 30 months and 4 years.
  • We have two older preschool classrooms for children between the ages of 4-6 years.

We are a Reggio Emilia-inspired school, providing an emergent approach to educating children that is play-based and child-directed.

Find out more about our Reggio-Emilia inspired approach!

Interested in enrolling your child the ECC? Visit our on-line application for enrollment.