Early Childhood Lab School

Children playing with toys from the ECC child care center.

Affordable care, please contact the ECLS office for current rate information.

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The Early Childhood Lab School of ECC provides full- and part‑time early learning and preschool for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years. Children receive safe, dependable, and attentive care at reasonable rates and in a convenient location for parents. More importantly, the early learning and preschool curriculum focuses on the whole growth of the child – physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually.

The highly trained and professional staff, many of whom have advanced degrees in early childhood and related fields, are committed to the philosophy that children are individuals, each with a unique style and rate of learning. The outstanding educational environment and engaging developmental activities at the school encourage children to reach their potential while becoming aware of the world in which they live. Students may utilize the child care center at their discretion while working or taking online classes.

We look forward to serving you!

ECC Lab School FAQ

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Financial Assistance

The lab school works with many types of financial aid and the state of Illinois Child Care Assistance Program.

Financial aid and state subsidies are accepted.

Programs


Children of ECC students and employees are welcome at the ECC Early Childhood Lab School. Learning programs are goal-oriented, tailored to each age group, and supervised by a highly trained, caring, and enthusiastic professional staff.

The early learning and preschool curriculum includes a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities representing the areas of art, music, large and small motor development, language, science, and math. Suitable accommodations for children to nap are available as well. Learning programs are tailored to each age group.

Early childhood lab school age-appropriate programs.
Program Age Group Program Info
Infant & Toddler Care Six weeks to 2-year-olds Program Cost and Details
Programs for Preschoolers 2 to 5-year-olds Program Cost and Details

Registration


Students with children currently enrolled at the school have priority registration for one week beginning the first week of class registration. Beginning the second and subsequent weeks of class registration, open enrollments are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Enrollment packets are available at the Lab School office in Building M, Room M137. Children must have all enrollment forms on file at the school on or before the first day of attendance. This includes a current medical record (well-child exam, immunizations, etc.), birth certificate, emergency information, and payment contract. Please use our contact form to arrange a school tour or meet with the director.

All children must be enrolled for at least two days per week. If the hours you need fall within two partial time blocks, you must pay for two complete time blocks. Some exceptions may apply.

The following is required before the first day of attendance:

  • Birth certificates
  • Medical records
  • Emergency information
  • Emergency releases

In person registration is preferred. Visit Building M, Room M137 or email us at ECLS@elgin.edu.

Operating Schedule


Open all year when classes are in session. Students with classes starting before 8 a.m. will be accommodated when possible. View the events calendar for specific closures.

Fall and Spring Semesters*

  • 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Thursday
  • 8 am to 4 pm, Fridays
  • 6 am to 8 am, available by request

Summer Semester*

Hours are based on enrollment needs and are charged on an hourly basis.

  • 7 am to 5 pm, Monday to Thursday
  • Closed Fridays

* Any hour is subject to cancellation if minimum enrollments are not met.

Nutrition and Health

The Early Childhood Lab School participates in the Child and Adult Food Program through the Illinois State Board of Education to provide our students with healthy and nutritious meals and snacks.

  • Preschool - ages 2 to 5 years: A nutritious and well-balanced morning snack, hot lunch, and afternoon snack are provided. Meals are served family style to the group as a whole.
  • Toddlers - ages 15 months to 24 months: A nutritious and well-balanced morning snack, hot lunch, and afternoon snack are provided. Meals are served family style to the group as a whole.
  • Infants/young toddlers - ages 6 weeks to 14 months: Infants under 11 months of age shall be fed in consultation with the parents and within DCFS and CACFP guidelines. Children aged 11-14 months of age are introduced to table eating and served a nutritious and well-balanced morning snack, hot lunch, and afternoon snack.

If your child has food allergies, is on a special diet, or requires special food, you must see the director before admission.

Proud holder of a Silver Circle of Quality from ExceleRate Illinois

ECC's Early Childhood Lab School is a Silver Circle of Quality from ExceleRate Illinois, which recognizes the completion of a rigorous self-assessment and continuous quality improvement process. Programs must meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on the learning environment and instructional quality, along with selected administrative program standards, staff qualifications, and professional development.