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Child Development Laboratory

Child Development Laboratory (CDL)

The Child Development Laboratory, established in 1940, is operated by the Department of Human Sciences.  When the center opened its doors, there were five children at what was then known as  the Practice Cottage and Nursery School Program. The center was open from 8:00am until 1:00pm. By 1944 enrollment was up to fifteen children, and by 1989 enrollment was at 40 children.   Today we are licensed for thirty-eight children.  The center was housed in several buildings on campus, until the Dent Annex was completed  in 1973. Today,  the center is a Five Star Licensed  facility and  is nationally accredited by the National Academy Early Childhood Programs: a division of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Mission Statement

The North Carolina Central University Child Development Laboratory provides:

  1. An early childhood setting to prepare students to work with young children.
  2. A setting for student and teachers to observe, interact with, and study pre-school children in an environment which utilizes varied teaching strategies and methods to assure developmentally appropriate experiences.
  3. Childcare services for three and four year old children and their families.


The philosophy of the Child Development Laboratory is based upon:

  • The child development principles of growth, developed through research.
  • Nurturing each child  as a unique individual, with emphasis upon the total development of the child.

Students, Staff and Parents

The students consist of three and four year olds.

The staff is comprised of trained professionals committed to meeting the needs of all the children. They include a director, who has a masters degree in Child Development and Family Relations and  four teachers, who  have Birth  through Kindergarten Education degrees, or have  completed at least twelve semester hours and possess child care credentials.

Parents are required to volunteer at least once during the school year,  attend parent meetings, as well as participate in fundraisers.

Program Curriculum

Cognitive Development is nurtured through problem solving skills, classifying skills, visual and auditory discrimination exercises, activities encouraging predicting and, number concepts, and alphabet sounds lessons.

Language Development is enhanced by sustaining a rich language environment  using descriptive language, encouraging children to express their thoughts and engaging in meaningful conversations. Additionally, we enrich development through written communication.

Social and Emotional Development are expanded by affording the acquisition of skills through working cooperatively and teaching basic techniques of interpersonal relationships.           

Physical Development is enriched by helping the  children build confidence in their motor abilities through active play as they explore.

Daily Schedule

07:00am-09:00am            Arrival
09:00am-09:15am            Clean up & Potty
09:15am-09:35am            Circle Time
09:35am-09:50am            Snack Preparation
09:50am-10:10am            *Snack & Fellowship
10:10am-11:10am            Centers
11:10am-11:45am            Potty & Outdoors
11:45am-Noon                Lunch Preparation
Noon-12:30pm                *Lunch
12:30pm-12:50pm           Books/Puzzles
12:50pm-1:00pm             Rest Preparation
01:00pm-03:00pm           Rest
03:00pm-03:15pm           Snack Preparation
03:15pm-03:30pm           * Snack & Fellowship
03:30pm-04:30pm           “Free Play”
04:30pm-05:15pm           Outdoors
05:15pm-05:30pm           Departure

Our nutritious  mid morning snacks, hot  lunches, and afternoon snacks are catered  by FDY  Marriott, Inc., and prepared by food    service at North Carolina Central University.

School Year and Operating Hours

The school year  begins in mid August and ends the last week of June. The center  is open Monday through Friday  from 07:30am-05:30pm.  Holiday and vacation days closely resemble those of the University.

Enrollment Procedures

Applications may be mailed upon  request or picked up at the Child Development Laboratory or the Department of Human Sciences:

NCCU Human Sciences CDL
North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville Street
PO Box 19615
Durham, NC 27707

Once the completed application is returned, the child is either admitted or placed on a waiting list. Enrollment is open to children of students, faculty, staff, and the community, who are at least three years of age and toilet trained. The selection of children is based on the date of the application.  Applications of children who are under the age of three years will be accepted, but children are not eligible until age three. Children already enrolled are given  priority in continuing enrollment.

Registration and Tuition

A registration fee and a two  week tuition deposit are due upon notice of  admission for your child. Tuition payments are due at the beginning of each pay period, prior to services being rendered.  A 15% discount is allowed for the second child when two or more siblings are enrolled at the center at the same time.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The NCCU CDL does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin or differing  ability.

For more information about our laboratory,
call 919-530-6447 or visit our web site at www.nccu.edu

© 2014
North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27707