Children's Center Lab School

The Diablo Valley College Children's Center lab school is a part of the early childhood education instructional program and a place for children of DVC students while they are attending classes.

The purpose of a lab school is to provide an enriched and supportive learning environment for children, parents and DVC students. The school is viewed as a community of learners in which children are seen as curious, competent and capable of constructing knowledge. The program is guided by the belief that families have a primary influence on the development of their children and early childhood is the most critical period in this development. The curriculum and environmental settings are designed to reflect the developmental needs and interests of each child and the unique cultures of the individuals within the school. The learning activities and materials that are offered are concrete, real and meaningful to the lives of children.

Children's Center Videos


The Children's Center is unique in the types of services we provide. The Developmental Children's Center is an early childhood education laboratory school and an integral part of the instructional program of the Early Childhood Education Department here at DVC. The purpose of the DVC Children's Center is to provide an enriched and supportive learning environment and community for children, parents, and DVC students.


We are an unknown a bit of a secret here on campus. Not many know about the Children's Center. We just want to get the word out that we're here to support the students of DVC so that you can be successful in your work. And as you're going through your journey here, going to school and being a parent at the same time, we're here to support you through that journey.


Find answers to our frequently asked questions about the Children's Center.

How do I enroll?

Enrollment takes place at the end of each term for the upcoming term. Enrollment is done by appointment only. In order to make an appointment, students must be registered in DVC classes for the term for which they wish to enroll their child(ren) in the children's center.

What are the children's center hours?

The center follows the same attendance and holiday schedule as the DVC class schedule and enrollment is on a term-by-term basis with priority given to returning students in good standing. The children center is open:

Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 1 pm

Will food be provided for my child?

The center provides lunches and snacks for children.  The nutrition component of the curriculum is designed to provide a model to students of healthy foods to use with young children and ways to involve children in food preparation.

What are my responsibilities as the parent of an enrolled child? 

Parents of all new and second term enrollees must enroll in one of the ECE 100 through ECE 114 series classes for 2 units. (The numbers and subjects of these courses changes each term but will always be between 100 and 114.) This includes the class sessions and three lab hours per week in the center. Parents enrolled in a third term or beyond have the option of enrolling in only 1 unit of an ECE 100 through ECE 114 series course. This includes the class sessions and one hour per week in the center as a parent job.

Who will care for my child and what are their qualifications?

The staff members who run the programs at the children's center are highly trained, permanent employees of Diablo Valley College.  These individuals are directly responsible for implementing the early childhood education curriculum in each of the center's programs.  Staff teachers work closely with the early childhood education department lab faculty in coordinating curriculum for student teachers and children.  These staff teachers serve as model teachers for the Diablo Valley College students and are responsible for coordinating communication with parents about the general development of children, as well as specific problems that may arise concerning a child's behavior, development or adjustment to the center's program.  Strong relationships between the staff, parents, and children are an integral value of the school.

What will my child learn?

The belief that children are curious, competent and capable of constructing knowledge is central to all curriculum planning.  Children explore and discover, ask questions and build new understandings as they interact with friends, teachers and parents.  Safe and stimulating environments, developmentally appropriate activities, and rich and varied materials are used to promote optimal development in the following areas:

  • Self-awareness, self-regulation,and emotional understanding
  • Positive social skills, empathy and caring
  • Ability to think, reason, question and experiment
  • Speech and language skills for understanding, communicating and self-expression
  • Interest in literacy and concepts about print
  • Motor skills and optimal physical functioning
  • Creative expression including art, music and drama
  • Awareness, appreciation and understanding of nature
  • Knowledge of sound health, safety and nutritional practices
  • Respect for individual differences

Contact us

Director Rebecca Thomson, Instructor and Lab Director
Administration Assistant Michelle Minty
Hours Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 1 pm  
CCLD Facility # Preschool - 070212086  Infant - 070212087