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What to Expect

The Child Development Lab offers:

  • Planned learning activities, which are appropriately developed for individual children and groups, emphasizing cognitive, physical and social development
  • Healthy, safe and enjoyable learning environments for all children.
  • Nutritional snacks and meal regulated by a licensed nutritious
  • Positive guidance and classroom management techniques, both direct and indirect, which promote high self-esteem and greater self-control
  • Daily parent-teacher communication and support opportunities
  • Rigorous adult-child ratio with highly-qualified faculty and staff.
  • Ongoing systematic program and child evaluations/assessments


Typical Day

Each child follows a schedule that includes individual activities, group activities, gross motor play indoors or outdoors, therapeutic services as available, lunch and rest. Schedules are individualized so that the day can include as many learning opportunities as possible. On any given day, children are exploring their outdoor environment as an extension of the classroom, practicing large and small primary motor skills and interacting and engaging with their peers. Depending on resources and funding available, integrated therapy services or referral to services within the community may be provided.


Observation and Research

The Child Development Lab functions as an instructional program of the OSU College of Education and Human Sciences. Current students participate in a variety of ways, usually through observation or interaction with the children in some capacity. Students are closely supervised by the lab staff. In addition, any assessment, evaluation and/or research conducted by faculty, staff or students will receive parental permission before being implemented. Undergraduate and graduate students implement observation and participation, which includes, but is not limited to, applying early childhood developmentally appropriate practice theories and methods, performing evaluations and/or procedures that may be considered experimental, developing curriculum and implementing research projects to enhance the study of human development and growth.


Enrollment in the Child Development Laboratory implies that parents understand and support the purposes of a laboratory setting and are willing to let their child participate in research studies determined to be appropriate for the individual child. The OSU Institutional Review Board approves all research projects. Parents receive information about research activities that involve their child. After reading the information about a study, parents have the right to determine if their child’s participation is appropriate and may request that their child not participate.

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