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 5th 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 are currently offering virtual tours.






ELC Community


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