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The Early Learning Center for Research and Practice is a quality care and learning environment for young children, pre-service teachers, and teacher educators. Affiliated with the Department of Child and Family Studies, the center provides a laboratory setting for the investigation of children’s development in context and the growth of informed teaching practices. Highly trained program staff work in collaboration with faculty to facilitate interdisciplinary research, academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students, and early education programs for young children while honoring a commitment to outreach, advocacy, and the development of public policy.

Supported by parent fee revenues and university funds, the ELC provides learning environments for young children six weeks through kindergarten as well as the academic support of more than one hundred students enrolled annually in child and family studies coursework and educators from the broader community of early childhood education. Students and faculty from additional disciplines, including audiology and speech pathology, nursing, psychology, and special education, also are served by research opportunities at the ELC. Groups interested in conducting research with us should visit our research page for more information.

Quick Links/FAQs:

How can I get my child on the waiting list?

Click here to complete our 2-step waiting list application process and read more about what to expect around enrollment.

Are discounts available for faculty or students?

We do not offer discounts for faculty or students.

Are scholarships available?

The Early Learning Center is proud to provide tuition assistance to families of children with disabilities enrolling in the ELC. Lilly’s Hand is used to provide individual assistance to families and support inclusive educational experiences for children with and without disabilities at the ELC.

When are enrollment decisions made?

The enrollment process typically begins in February/March of each year to prepare for the upcoming school year, which begins in August.