Early Childhood Lab School

Toddler being read to by ECC staff.

Affordable care, please call the ECLS office for current rate information.

The Early Childhood Lab School of ECC is proud to hold a Silver Circle of Quality - ExceleRate Illinois, a state-wide quality recognition program.

The lab school provides full- and part‑time early learning and preschool for children ages six weeks through 5 years. The safe, dependable, and attentive care that children receive is offered at reasonable rates and in a convenient location for parents. Childcare service is available for currently enrolled ECC students and ECC employees.

We believe in providing an atmosphere where the parents are our partners.  Families are welcome to come to the ECLS to read to the children, share a special family tradition with the classroom, or facilitate an activity. We want your child to feel loved, secure, and happy each morning when coming to school. We encourage you to share any customs, traditions, celebrations, and child-rearing practices to help us make a meaningful home-school connection for your child.

  • Full- and part-time care is available.
  • Flexible scheduling by time block.
  • Goal-oriented learning programs are tailored to each age group.
  • Highly trained, attentive, and enthusiastic professional staff.
  • Indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Instruction in art, music, dance, large and small motor development, language, science, and math.
  • Suitable accommodations for children to nap.

Students may utilize the childcare center at their discretion while working or taking online classes.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid and state subsidies are accepted, and additional childcare assistance is available to PELL-eligible students through CCAMPIS Grant funding. Limited space is available each semester. For more information, call 847-214-7376 or email ECLS@elgin.edu.

Philosophy


Our programs focus on the child's total development, including social, emotional, physical, and intellectual elements. We believe a sound philosophy of education for young children is based on understanding a child’s growth and development. Our programs strive for a warm, caring, and positive environment where a child’s feelings and a good self-image take high priority. We believe children need a curriculum that is individualized to each child’s stage of development, with equal amounts of structured activities and free play.

Programs


Learning programs are tailored to each age group.

Early childhood lab school age-appropriate programs.
Program Age Group Program Info
Infant & Toddler Care Six weeks to 2-year-olds Program Cost and Details
Programs for Preschoolers 2 to 5-year-olds Program Cost and Details

Registration


The lab school is open to ECC students and staff when classes are in session. Arrangements for additional weeks may be available to current enrollees who need to attend to on-campus responsibilities. Consult a current ECC academic calendar at elgin.edu/calendar for specific closures throughout the year. Parents with children currently enrolled at the ECLS may register the day class registration opens. New enrollees will be accepted one week after class registration opens. Spaces are not held from one semester to the next. Everyone must register each semester again on a first-come, first-served basis. Any hour is subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment is not met. Full-time enrollments are preferred.

You must register for a minimum of one three-hour time block at least two days per week in any combination of the following:

  • 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on Fridays) 

The following is required before the first day of attendance:

  • Birth certificates
  • Medical records
  • Emergency information
  • Emergency releases

Registration must be made in person by visiting Building M, Room M137.

Operating Schedule


Open all year when classes are in session. Students with classes starting before 8 a.m. will be accommodated when possible. View the academic calendar for specific closures.

Fall and Spring Semester*

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Thursday
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays
  • 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. available by request

Summer Semester*

Hours are based on enrollment needs and are charged on an hourly basis.

  • 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Thursday
  • Closed Fridays

* Any hour is subject to cancellation if minimum enrollments are not met.