Early Learning Center

Young boy looks through binoculars

At A Glance

The Early Learning Center, located on the University of Delaware’s Newark campus, was founded in 2004 as a living laboratory in childhood development. It serves as a site for university researchers, students interested in early education, and a model childcare facility for the state of Delaware. The Early Learning Center celebrates the diversity and culture of all families and community partners.

The ELC is:

  • A full-day early childhood program for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old and school age children from Kindergarten through 3rd grade
  • Affiliated and supported by University of Delaware
  • Open to families in the community
  • Licensed by the state of Delaware
  • Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Rated a 5-Star program by the Delaware Star’s Quality Rating and Improvement System
  • 21 classrooms with approximately 250 children
  • Multiple outdoor environments on more than 2 acres of property
  • Full size gym
  • Full service kitchen
  • Observation booths for both families and UD faculty/staff
  • Research facility for the University of Delaware

Learn more about our learning spaces

  • Hours are 7 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday
  • 250 children across 21 classrooms
  • Programs caring for Infants, Toddlers, Preschool and School Age children
  • Teacher to Student ratios in each classroom
    • Infant Ratio is 1:3
    • Toddler Ratio is 1:4
    • Preschool Ratio is 1:8, 1:9 and 1:10
    • School Age Ratio is 1:12
  • Optional Summer Camp available for School Age children
  • 40 Full Time Professional Teaching Staff
  • 5 Administrative Staff
  • 2 Nutritionists provide delicious, healthy meals
  • Approximately 30 Part Time Staff
  • Each classroom contains 2 full time staff members
  • Full time teaching staff receive 18 hours of professional development each year

Would you like to learn more about the ELC? We offer tours the first and third Tuesday of every month at 10 am.