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Program Philosophy


The CSUSB Early Childhood Education Programs supports students and families within the university and community at large by providing high quality child care and hands on learning experiences through developmentally appropriate practices, building relationships, and recognizing individual strengths and values.

Philisophical Framework

The following principles form the philosophical framework for the Infant/Toddler Lab School:

  1. We believe that relationships are the foundation for all learning and development. The child's development of knowledge of the social world and strategies for interacting with peers and adults is an important part of learning during the early childhood years.

  2. We believe that children learn best in a warm, supportive, nurturing, respectful, safe atmosphere in which individual and cultural differences are valued.
  3. We believe that young children learn and develop most effectively through active exploration, involvement, and manipulation of their environment. Play provides this interaction and is the natural mode of learning for young children.
  4. We value the uniqueness of each child and focus on the development of the whole child (physical, social, emotional, language, creative and cognitive).
  5. Our curriculum is designed to be appropriate to the developmental capabilities of each child and is implemented with attention to children's differing needs, interests, and developmental levels.
  6. We believe that families are the primary educators for their children. We strongly believe in forming partnerships with families and keeping them involved in their child's experience here at the lab school.

Primary Caregiving

At the Infant/Toddler Lab School, we believe that children learn best and thrive when they have responsive, warm relationships and secure attachments with their teachers. Therefore, we assign children to primary caregivers so that strong, meaningful relationships are fostered between the children and their teachers.

Primary care does not mean exclusive care; it means that for the majority of the time that children are here, they are assigned to a primary caregiver who will assist them with their most intimate daily routines and who will assess their development on an ongoing basis in order to plan and implement activities to meet each child's needs. It is also a way for families and teachers to get to know each other well so that information can be shared in order to maintain consistency between home and school.