There is a breath of fresh air for Salt Lake Community College students who are looking for a place to keep their young children safe, happy and engaged.
The Eccles Early Childhood Development Lab School (EECDLS) is a place for children ages 2 to 5 to develop essential skills that will give them a jumpstart on their path to social and academic success.
“I love working here,” says lab support staff member Lynda Keddington.
The EECDLS has a diversified curriculum designed for the growth and development of the children. Subjects include music, language, art, science and emotional development.
These activities are combined with playtime, two snacks and a lunch to make up a typical day at the EECDLS.
This facility is licensed with the state of Utah, it has a capacity of 50 children at one time. About 90 children are currently enrolled at different schedules.
“This is a lab facility for SLCC students in the Family and Human Studies Department; they come here to get hands-on experience,” says Keddington.
The ratio of teachers to children is 1:7 for two-year-olds, 1:9 for three-year-olds and 1:12 for four and five-year-olds.
Staff members at the EECDLS are experienced child educators, have highly respectable credentials and low turnover rates.
“Before I stated working here, I was a child care center director for 40 years,” says Keddington.
Each year staff members are required to complete 20 hours of additional training.
The EECDLS provides two-day, three-day and five-day preschool sessions.
Priority enrollment is given to parents that want a full-time schedule for their children, meaning five hours per day and five days per week. Drop-in care is not accepted.
Parents must fill out an application that can be found online or at the EECDLS office. Once the application has been submitted, the parents are placed on a waiting list. As vacancies occur, children are admitted into the program.
Tuition is calculated on a sliding scale; factors such as household income and family size are taken under consideration when deciding the tuition costs.
The EECDLS recently received a grant that the lab will use to add a new, natural-themed section of the playground. This will give children new areas to play creative games and come up with fun activities.
The EECDLS has a schedule that is synchronized with the fall, spring and summer semesters at SLCC for student convenience. The EECDLS is open Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.