The MSU Child Development Center is a community that honors and respects children,
families, and educators for their diversity, curiosity, and humanity. We inspire
and celebrate well-being in a dynamic, engaging, and playful learning environment.
The MSU Child Development Center is the laboratory preschool of the Early Childhood Education & Child Services academic program at Montana State University.
The MSU Child Development Center is Montana's first preschool and has been continuously
operating since the 1920s. The preschool is licensed by the State of Montana and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC accredited early childhood programs are the top tier in early childhood education,
representing less than 10% of all preschools nationwide.
The preschool serves a diverse group of families, both on and off campus, with the
primary goal of providing a quality early childhood education program for children
ages 3 - 5. Affiliation with MSU is not required for children to be enrolled in the preschool.
The preschool is a university laboratory site for research and learning used by MSU
students, faculty, and community members. The preschool is the primary field placement
site for all MSU Early Childhood Education and Child Services (ECE&CS) students and is also used by Elementary Education students pursuing the
Early Childhood Special Permissive Competency teaching endorsement. Ongoing projects
include well-being groups facilitated by the graduate counseling students, nutrition education provided by interns with the Montana Dietetic Internship (MDI), physical activity experiences led by Performance Kids, and engagement with the arts through a weekly music class.
The MSU Child Development Center is an integral part of the university and maintains
a learning, discovery, and engagement mission consistent with the land-grant mission
of Montana State University.
- Learning: The MSU Child Development Center is a quality early education center for
preschool-aged children and their families in our community. We recognize the unique
needs and opportunities for learning among every member of our preschool community
and provide many opportunities for children, families, educators, and students to
learn and grow. The preschool is an inclusive setting for children and their families
from diverse cultures, lifestyles, and abilities, including special needs.
- Discovery: Research and creative activities take place at the MSU Child Development
Center in various collaborative disciplines, including early childhood education,
food and nutrition, counseling, nursing, and educational technology. The preschool
is a model of best practice for the Montana early childhood profession.
To learn more about our preschool program please contact the Child Development Center
- Engagement: The MSU Child Development Center works in close partnership with our
local community to enhance the well-being of children, families, educators and students
in our program. Connections to county, state, and national organizations further
enhance the rich experience of our preschool and ECE&CS academic program.