We believe children learn best when they are the key component in their own development and education. This means our curricula are designed to emphasize play and first-hand experiences that encourage curiosity and love of learning. Our ultimate goal is that through early intervention and education, each child will succeed in their future academic and life endeavors. The ELC’s commitment to quality education and care extends beyond the classroom to the home and the research field. The Early Learning Center provides:
- Services for families, including assessments, intervention services and parenting education
- Technical assistance and training for child care providers to continuously improve teaching methods across the state
- A laboratory for faculty and student researchers and a hands-on learning site for undergraduate and graduate students to contribute to the field of early childhood education
The ELC has a close relationship with community programs such as:
- New Directions Early Head Start
- UD Center for Disability Studies
- Special Olympics
- UD Greek Council
These programs and their representatives play a tremendous role in the furthering of education of children. By utilizing community resources, we can expand and enrich the classroom by introducing new experiences, people, and places to the children.
Diversity is key to any education and the ELC is committed to accepting children of all backgrounds and needs.
Currently our ELC Newark enrollment includes:
- 14% children with special needs
- 30% children receiving Purchase of Care
- 9% children living in foster care
- 25%of children of UD employees
- 22% not represented by one of the previous categories
Our ELC Wilmington enrollment includes
- 100% children in the New Directions Early Head Start Program
The Early Learning Center currently operates in two locations in Delaware:
- Newark -open since June 2004, as an extension of the UD College of Education and Human Development, the Newark Center is accredited by The National Association for the Education of Young Children.
- Wilmington – The state-accredited Wilmington Center operates in the Southbridge neighborhood of Wilmington.
Both centers feature state-of-the-art facilities and staff that meet or exceed state and/or NAEYC accreditation standards.