The Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development is a lab school for children from birth to five years of age. It is affiliated with the College of Educationâ€™s Toppel Family Early Childhood Education Institute at Florida Atlantic University. Located on FAUâ€™s Boca Raton campus, the centerâ€™s mission is:
To help young children grow intellectually, socially and emotionally in a learning environment that nurtures and supports optimal development.
To provide a lab school for teacher education students, with an educational philosophy that is inclusive and intends to address the needs of all children whose development represents a range of abilities and learning styles.
To promote research in early childhood education, child development and related disciplines.
To serve as a fieldwork site for nursing, science and other FAU students and faculty.
To provide a model of best practice in early childhood education for the wider educational community.
The Karen Slattery Center, which serves approximately 100 children, is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and follows NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate practices, based on current research and theory in child development and curriculum. Additionally, the Karen Slattery Center has been awarded a 4 Star Rating in Palm Beach Countyâ€™s Quality Improvement System. The centerâ€™s staff works as a collaborative team, continuously revising and creating an enriched â€œproject approachâ€ integrated curriculum. Classroom projects are designed to enrich each groupâ€™s developmental levels and interests. Curriculum projects empower children to become independent thinkers and creative problem solvers, and to learn academic and social skills through investigation and discovery. The â€œproject approachâ€ correlates with the latest research on brain development and early literacy learning. Classroom projects meet childrenâ€™s needs through group and individualized activities and outdoor and indoor experiences, which stimulate investigation in the areas of language and literature, music and movement, expressive arts, block building, dramatic play, science, woodworking and cooking. The program incorporates the Florida Sunshine Standards and is carefully structured to enhance childrenâ€™s self-esteem and to develop pre-reading and pre-mathematics skills.
As a lab school for the College of Education, the Karen Slattery Center is a demonstration and fieldwork site for students enrolled in bachelorâ€™s, masterâ€™s and doctoral degree programs. FAU faculty, students and teachers also conduct research at the center to advance scholarship and innovation in early childhood education and related fields of study. The Center provides diverse learning opportunities by maintaining an equal balance of boys and girls from varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Priority enrollment is given to FAU students, faculty, staff and Research Development Park employees. Visit www.coe.fau.edu/erccd to register online or contact Lydia Bartram, Director, at (561)297-0130 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.