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Five things you should know about ECC’s Early Childhood Lab School

Early Childhood Lab

ECC's Early Childhood Lab School

Since 1973, the college's Early Childhood Lab School has consistently provided safe and dependable full- and part-time care for children six weeks through five years of age. Conveniently located in Building M along Hoffer Drive, teachers and staff develop goal-oriented learning programs tailored to each age group.

The Lab School's rates are similar compared to area childcare facilities.  Financial aid and state subsidies are accepted. During the summer, ECC students and children of ECC employees can use the Lab School regardless of whether they take classes or work at the college during that time.

We asked Lisa Johnson, director of the childcare center, five things you should know about the Early Childhood Lab School. Here is her response: 

1. More than childcare. It's class!

The Lab School's preschool curriculum begins at birth and continues through age five and is aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines. Staff members also consistently train by attending a minimum of 20 hours of in-service each year to keep up-to-date on the latest child development research, risk management and practical skills for working with young children.

ECC students in early childhood education also work in the classroom each semester for hands-on, practical experience. Additionally, students from other programs, like nursing and dental, visit the Lab School to work with children. Student clubs like the Organization of Latin American Students stop by to do multicultural activities.

2. Wondering what your child is doing? Visit!

Each of the five classrooms, for children six weeks to five years old, offer a one-way observation window so parents can watch their children interact with staff unnoticed. Johnson said it's a great way to study children's behavior and parents are welcome to visit any time.

3. It's a Lab School for the generations

There are several ECC employees who have come to the Lab School as children. Many of the staff are now serving second generation children of the mothers and fathers who they cared for many years ago. With more than a combined 175 YEARS of child development experience among the Lab School staff, the stamina they display running after toddlers all day is amazing!

4. Your child is in good hands

The staff is highly trained, attentive, and enthusiastic professionals who love being in the classroom! Fourteen staff members are certified in CPR and First Aid, two staff members are food sanitation managers, and one staff member is a Certified Emergency Responder.

How's that for safety?

5. It provides convenient and reliable care you can depend on

The Lab School is open year round when the college is open to ECC students and employees. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is open from 7:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. during the summer-when it holds a day camp in addition to regular childcare.

More information about the Lab School can be found at


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