The Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory (CDRL), established in 1927, was one of the first child development laboratory schools in the United States. It serves as a model accredited early childhood teacher education (NCATE) and child development (NAEYC) program serving undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of CYAF courses. Students have many opportunities through their coursework to work in the Laboratory and be involved directly with children and their families. Professionals and policymakers in the community and the State utilize the Laboratory faculty as a resource.
The Angeline Anderson Children's Garden, a model playground adjacent to the CDL, is available for children in the Laboratory. This outdoor play area offers a garden, a wooded area the children call the forest, a playhouse, and tricycle tracks throughout.