Program and Schedules

Like Sarah Lawrence College itself, the Early Childhood Center was founded on the ideals of progressive education. At both institutions, learning is driven by students' own interests and experiences, allowing them to develop both as individuals and as members of a community.

The ECC provides a comfortable, home-like setting on the beautiful Sarah Lawrence College campus.

The curriculum emphasizes language and arts, and evolves according to the children's interests. Children work meaningfully with blocks, art materials, sand, water, puzzles, and dramatic play material. There are opportunities daily to work alone, in small groups, and as members of the group as a whole.

Class Structure

The Early Childhood Center provides a varied pattern of morning and afternoon classes. Younger children attend two or three half-days per week, and older children attend five times per week. Classes are in session from early September to mid-May, in accordance with the College calendar. A separate summer session is offered as well. Each class is taught by a master early childhood, a graduate assistant teacher, and several student assistants.

The master teachers and the director are available to parents for conversation and consultation throughout the year. Our psychology consultant spends time in the classrooms as well, and is available to parents for consultation. Fall and spring parent-teacher conferences are formally scheduled, but teachers are of course available informally as well. It is vital that parents and teachers form a partnership, exchanging insights and experiences in relation to the individual child or to more general aspects of child development. Some member of each family (usually a parent) stays at the Center when the child first attends school, leaving gradually as parent and teacher decide the time has come for separation. There is no hard and fast rule about when it's the right time for a parent to leave. Teachers and parents work together to establish the timing. We recognize that separation is difficult and work hard to make the best decisions for each individual child.

Class Schedules

  • “Twos” Class and Parent Discussion Group Morning and Afternoon Classes
    “Twos” and Parent Discussion Group builds gradually to two hours and requires a parent's attendance along with the child for the entire school year. The separation process is nurtured throughout the year for both parent and child. Siblings are not permitted.
    Tuesdays/Thursdays
    9–11a.m. and 1–3 p.m.
  • “Threes” Morning Class
    Tuesdays/Thursdays
    9–11:30 a.m.
  • “Threes” Morning Classes
    Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays
    9–11:30 a.m.
  • “Threes”/“Fours” Afternoon Class
    Monday through Friday
    1–3:55 p.m.
  • “Fours” Morning Class
    Monday through Friday
    9–11:55 a.m.
  • “Fours”/“Fives” Morning or Afternoon Classes
    Monday through Friday
    9–11:55 a.m. and 1–3:55 p.m.
  • “Fives”/“Sixes” Class
    Monday through Friday
    9 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Class extends through the first week in June.

Please note: The Center serves as a laboratory school for Sarah Lawrence College students. Classes are in session from early September to mid-May, in accordance with the Sarah Lawrence College calendar. Consequently, we are closed during the College breaks.

Group of children

Why ECC?

“Independence, curiosity, warmth, caring for others, and a love of learning are all qualities that have been fostered in our son during his time at the ECC. It's truly amazing to see his face light up with excitement and pride at the mention of his school. In addition to providing a beautiful space for children to discover and learn, the ECC allows children to be fearless in their quest for knowledge. We feel very lucky and proud to be a part of the ECC community of friends.”

–Eira and Gino Flores, ECC Parents