Program overview

The ISU Child Development Laboratory School offers the following programs:

Infants and toddlers: All-day, year-round program for four infants and four toddlers. Available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Two- and three-year-olds: All-day, year-round program for 12 two- and three-year-old children. Available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Three-, four-, and five-year olds: Two all-day, year-round preschool programs for 18 three-, four-, and five-year-old children. Available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Program individualization

All children are assessed using the Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum. From that assessment, individual goals are established for your child. Those individual goals are what guide the curriculum and activities you see throughout the day.

Developmentally appropriate programs

Developmentally appropriate practices are teaching methods and curriculum components that are based on a child's developmental abilities. Such practices include active learning experiences, varied instructional strategies, a balance between teacher-directed and child-directed activities, integrated curriculum, and learning centers. These practices are reflected in the position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children on Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth Through Age 8. This document outlines educational practices based on knowledge and theories of how children learn and grow.

Teachers and assistants

Each classroom is staffed by two state of Iowa early childhood licensed teachers that are assisted by undergraduate student child care assistants. These teachers have the primary responsibility and supervision of all activities in the classroom.

Interaction with students and visitors

When considering enrollment for our programs, it is important to consider the child’s tolerance for interaction with many ISU student participants who have short-term contact with the children and the program.

ISU student participants (practicum students) are assigned to teachers throughout the day to practice and learn safe, healthy, nurturing care-giving behaviors. Children get to engage with a variety of motivated adults who bring energy and diversity to the program, learning how to interact with students within the proximity and security of their full-time teachers.

Other students, off-campus visitors, data-collectors, and researchers are able to observe the high quality care program from the spacious observation booth, which is equipped with audio and video-taping equipment. ISU faculty and students can also observe the activities through closed-circuit television for teaching purposes.

Moving through programs

As a guideline, children stay with their cohort age group (age on September 15). We have found this system progresses the children through the program at a natural rate. If your child entered as an infant, he or she would spend two years in the Program for Infants & Toddlers, one year in the Program for Two- and Three-Year-Olds, and two years in the Program for Three-, Four-, and Five-Year-Olds.