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CDL Philosophy

The MU Child Development Laboratory (CDL) is an educational setting for community children and a teaching and research laboratory for University students, faculty and staff. The CDL operates a full-day, full-year teacher-training lab school affiliated with the Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) within the College of Education and Human Development.

The CDL is licensed and accredited and was rated as one of the top ten child care centers in the nation by Child Magazine. The CDL serves 68 families with children from six weeks of age through age five. Promoting high quality child care in a model setting is a primary goal.

CDL Mission

The mission of the CDL parallels the service, teaching and research missions of the University of Missouri. We strive to facilitate the teaching and research missions of the University, to promote the professional growth of undergraduate and graduate students, and to secure strong foundations for children and their families.

The intent of our program is to encourage and support the development of each child and to provide opportunities for self-exploration and discovery. An assumption of the program is that children are active and curious; it is our goal to provide learning experiences designed to stimulate the child’s creative learning abilities.

The overall development (cognitive, social-emotional, linguistic, physical, creative) of the child is considered and planned for through a variety of activities. It is our objective to learn the needs of the individuals in our program and to plan for the successful fulfillment of those needs. Positive development of the child’s image of self is of prime importance in the program and is a priority in all aspects of program planning.

Growth and Development

The young child is a member of his family. It is our aim to work with the family in creating the best possible environment for the child while at the lab. The staff and students of the CDL are concerned with the total and unique growth and development of each child by promoting:

  • Learning to solve problems and form concepts.
  • Demonstrating positive approaches to learning.
  • Discovering and exploring the near environment.
  • Developing self-esteem and personal adjustment skills.
  • Achieving self-confidence in relationships.
  • Developing a sense of responsibility and persistence in completing tasks.
  • Developing hand and body coordination.
  • Learning physical skills.
  • Learning good health habits.
  • Expressing ideas through creative skills.
  • Expressing self through creative medium.
  • Developing the ability to think and act in different and unique ways.
  • Developing the ability to listen to and understand language.
  • Developing the ability to use language to communicate ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Emerging writing skills and phonological awareness.