The Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory provides developmental programs for young children which involve students in Child, Youth and Family Studies (CYAF) as well as other departments of the University of Nebraska. Serving both teacher training and research functions at undergraduate and graduate levels, the laboratory offers many students opportunities for observation and study of children.

The program is open to everyone. There are currently two classes for children (aged 18 mo. through 5 years). Monday through Friday the classes operate from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

For a $15 charge any parent may put an application for their child in the preschool “waiting file.” Vacancies are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. An attempt is made to keep the groups balanced according to age and sex.

The primary mission of the lab is to serve as a setting for the professional teaching experiences (CYAF 497A) of senior students with Child Development, Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Child Development/Early Childhood Education dual majors. Other classes such as CYAF 374 or CYAF 270 may also place students in the lab for practica experiences. In addition to the mission as a teacher preparation facility the lab also strives to conduct and disseminate relevant research to the filed of early childhood education and to provide outreach to the people of Nebraska.

Family of 4


Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30
University Schedule

Older & Younger Program
7:30 Children Arrive; Free Exploration; Focus Activity; Field Guide Representation Experience
8:15-9:15 Breakfast
9:15-10:00 Outside; Field Site Visits
10:00-11:15 Family Block; Field Site Visits; Project Work
11:15-11:30 Literacy Connection & Music and Movement
11:30-12:30 Lunch/Brush Teeth; Outside
12:30-2:00 Bathroom; Rest on Cots; Quiet Activity
2:00-3:00 Snack; Free Exploration; Focus Activity; Field Guide Representation Experience
3:00-4:00 Field Site Visits; Outside
4:00-5:00 Family Block; Field Site Visits; Project Work
5:00-5:30 Music and Movement/Reading on Carpet
5:30 Classroom Closed