Early Learning Center

Letter from the Director

Welcome to the Early Learning Center at the University of Delaware. We are delighted you have chosen to partner with us to support the growth, development and learning of your child. The Early Learning Center is a “learning space” and is home to a diverse community -children and families, ELC staff practitioners,  faculty, UD students, and community partners joining together in an effort to impact each other and promote promising practices where all members blossom, and each learner’s abilities and gifts are able to flourish.

The values and beliefs of the Early Learning Center are evident in the way children and adults engage with each other daily.

We believe all individuals need to learn in a culture that promotes:

  • Respect for self: We see children as competent members of society from birth. We value their creativity and nurture their development and learning. We support the need for autonomy and help children and adults discover ways to continually grow and evolve.
  • Respect for others: We see children as members of our learning team. Teamwork is our support system and allows all members of the ELC to effectively work on individual and long-term goals. Adults honor the thinking of all participants of the learning community and communicate in ways to support the optimal outcome for everyone involved.
  • Respect for the environment: We see the environment as an extension of our learning. How we care for and develop our spaces for learning will direct the way we behave in the space. Just as humans evolve, we hope our learning environments are also continually evolving and reflect the ongoing learning that takes place at the Early Learning Center.
Director Diana Morello-DeSerio poses with student at the Early Learning Center

The Educational Leadership Team includes two Associate Directors, Kelly Freel our Infant-Toddler expert and Jessica Peace our Preschool/PreK and School-Age expert.

Our InfantToddler program is a state of the art child development program where educators engage with families and children to promote healthy, supportive learning opportunities for our youngest members and challenge their curiosity and language development as they learn to understand self and the world around them.

As children transition from the Infant-Toddler world, they are met with great expectation in our quality preschool and Pre-K program. Our educators welcome children and families into group learning experiences where children will begin to discover more about friendship, exploring increasing complex ideas and learning more about how our language and communication skill will set the foundation for later reading and lifelong learning.

Additionally, the ELC provides before and after care for children in grades K through 3rd grade who attend Las Aspiras Academy, West Park Elementary or Newark Charter.  We also offer summer camp for school age children, K-3rd grade.

We are confident you have chosen the best early learning environment for your child/children. We strive to provide a learning space for all individuals across the age-span and look forward to partnering with you as we support the learning and development of your child.


Diana Morello-DeSerio, EdD., Director ELC

Kelly Freel, Associate Director Infant-Toddlers

Jessica Peace, Associate Director Preschool/School-Age