Program Philosophy

The Associated Students Child Development Laboratory (formerly known as the Associated Students Children's Center) began operation in the early 1970's under the administration of the Associated Students. The Program was originally designed as a parent cooperative. The primary purpose of the Lab is to serve as a teaching learning laboratory that provides high quality early care and education services to the children of CSU, Chico students; thus providing individuals who are parents access to higher education. As a teaching learning laboratory the ASCDL serves as an academic practicum, observation, and research site for Child Development as well as other students of CSU, Chico.

The Associated Students Child Development Lab philosophy is based on a respect for the uniqueness of each individual child, their family and culture. Children come to the program from varying backgrounds and bring with them their own family values, cultures and language. They also come with unique personalities and temperaments and are at varying levels of development and maturation. In partnership, staff, students, faculty and parents create a safe, nurturing environment. This supports the California Desired Results that children are personally and socially competent, effective learners, demonstrate physical and motor competence, and are safe & healthy.

The ASCDL believes in forming individual relationships that give insight into how your child discovers the world. This learning informs how staff and students plan, organize and teach your child. Children's learning is a complex process that results from the interaction of a child's own thinking and their experiences in the external world. Children "learn by doing". Infants and Toddlers learn primarily in the context of relationships and through their senses such as tasting, physical exploration and grasping. Preschoolers learn by interacting with materials and people. As children mature, they acquire new skills that facilitate the learning process. Children construct their knowledge through their interactions with the social, as well as physical world. The role of the teacher is to intentionally create, organize, and sustain classroom environments and opportunities that support children’s learning.

The ASCDL uses the evidence-based Creative Curriculum© model that supports children’s inquiries, experiences and opportunities to learn. This learning occurs through a variety of modalities (visual, auditory, sensory). The Lab offers children the teacher-planned and child-initiated opportunities to learn. Using the Creative Curriculum©, the environment is divided into interest areas. Each area is designed to support a learning focus. Planning for children’s learning is based upon teacher’s observations and reflections on the interests, individual needs, and developing skills of the children. Children’s learning and development are assessed using the California Department of Education, Child Development Division, Desired Results Developmental Profiles. The curriculum supports the state of California learning foundations which include: social/emotional development; language & literacy; math; science; visual and performing arts; physical development and health; social studies; and English language development.

A focus of Creative Curriculum© is the importance of relationship with the families. The ASCDL is committed to creating partnerships with families and engaging them in the process of children’s learning. In order to foster and develop, resilient, capable, and competent children, the ASCDL has specific outcomes for children and families. These desired outcomes include:

  • Children are personally and socially competent
  • Children are effective learners
  • Children show physical and motor competence
  • Children are safe and healthy
  • Families support their child’s learning and development
  • Families achieve their goals

The Desired Results system implemented by the California Department of Education is a comprehensive approach that facilitates the achievement of the Desired Results identified for children and families. The system is aligned to both the state's learning and development foundations for early care and education programs and the content standards for kindergarten.

The Associated Students Child Development Lab is operated on a nondiscriminatory basis, according equal treatment and access to services without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, or ancestry. Child Development services provided by the Associated Students Child Development Lab do not include religious instruction or worship.