Welcome to the Early Childhood Center website!

The CSU Early Childhood Center (ECC) is a laboratory school with a three-fold mission to (a) prepare university students for careers in the field of early childhood; (b) provide opportunities for research related to children, families, and early childhood education; and (c) offer a developmentally appropriate, Reggio Emilia-inspired learning environment for young children. Each year, the ECC serves approximately 150 children (ages 6 weeks to 6 years) while simultaneously training more than 170 students from various departments across the CSU campus including Food Science and Human Nutrition; Human Development and Family Studies; Occupational Therapy; the School of Education; and the School of Theatre, Music and Dance.

Housed within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the ECC has been serving children and families in the Fort Collins community since 1929 and we are dedicated to working in partnership with families to ensure a quality educational experience for children.

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!

The ECC is:

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.

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

The ECC accepts enrollment applications from CSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the surrounding Fort Collins community. Enrollment applications are reviewed and prioritized based on numerous factors including (but not limited to) CSU affiliation, sibling of current enrollee, age of child, date submitted, and schedule requested.

Our calendar and fee schedule can be found on our forms page.


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