Questions regarding the CDRC
What does it mean to be a lab school?
A laboratory school is a University-affiliated program that offers teacher training, professional development, and opportunities for education research. The CDRC is one of many lab schools throughout the United States that offers exceptional educational opportunities to young children and college students. Lab schools across the country use a variety of educational models, placing varying emphasis on research and training. As a lab school, the CDRC is a training site for future teachers studying early childhood education at Texas Tech University. It also offers opportunities for faculty, staff, and students throughout the South Plains area to conduct child development research or observe early education practices. Because the college lab student experience involves working directly with the children, background checks are completed. Lab students are always considered "learners" in the classroom -- they are not included in the child-teacher ratio, and they are always supervised by paid teaching staff. Parents often find that children benefit from having the extra attention from the TTU students.
What kind of curriculum do you use and what does it mean to be play-based?
We use the HighScope curriculum. In a HighScope program, teachers ignite children's interest in learning by creating an environment that encourages them to explore learning materials and interact with adults and peers. We focus on supporting early learners as they make decisions, build academic skills, develop socially and emotionally, and become part of a classroom community. Active learning is at the center of the HighScope Curriculum. It's the foundation of young children gaining knowledge through their natural play and interactions with the environment, events, and other people.
Teachers act as partners, working alongside children and communicating with them both verbally and nonverbally to encourage learning. Key strategies for adult-child interactions are sharing control with children, communicating as a partner with children, scaffolding children's play, using encouragement instead of praise, and taking a problem-solving approach to supporting children in resolving conflicts. A consistent framework for the day provides a balanced variety of experiences and learning opportunities. Children engage in both individual and social play, participate in small- and large-group activities, assist with cleanup, socialize during meals, develop self-care skills, and exercise their small and large muscles. Children make decisions about what they will do, carry out their ideas, and reflect upon their activities with adults and other children. These higher-level thinking skills are linked to the development of executive functions, which are needed to be successful in school and life.
What is a developmentally appropriate program?
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) defines “developmentally appropriate practice” as methods that promote each child's optimal development and learning through a strengths-based, play-based approach to joyful, engaged learning. Educators implement developmentally appropriate practice by recognizing the multiple assets all young children bring to the early learning program as unique individuals and as members of families and communities. Building on each child's strengths—and taking care to not harm any aspect of each child's physical, cognitive, social, or emotional well-being—educators design and implement learning environments to help all children achieve their full potential across all domains of development and across all content areas. Developmentally appropriate practice recognizes and supports each individual as a valued member of the learning community. As a result, to be developmentally appropriate, practices must also be culturally, linguistically, and ability appropriate for each child.
The Developmentally Appropriate Practice Position Statement is a framework of principles and guidelines to support a teacher's intentional decision making for practice. The principles serve as the evidence base for the guidelines for practice, and both are situated within three core considerations—commonality, individuality, and context. https://www.naeyc.org/resources/position-statements/dap/contents
Questions regarding admission to the CDRC
How do I apply for admission to the CDRC?
To apply for admission, families must complete the application form (https://www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/cdrc/application.php) and pay the non-refundable $50.00 per child application fee (this fee is waived for families receiving CCS). It is important, once the application is complete, to update the Center with any telephone, email, and/or address changes by emailing us at email@example.com.
Is there an application fee?
Yes. There is a non-refundable $50.00 per child application fee due at the time a family submits an application for enrollment. This fee is waived for families receiving CCS funding.
Do we accept CCS subsidy?
Yes. We do accept children with a CCS (Child Care Services) subsidy.
Does the CDRC offer any scholarships?
Yes. The CDRC has some funds available on a limited basis by application.
Can I take a tour of the CDRC?
Yes. We encourage all interested families to take a tour. Tours are offered on Mondays 2:30-4:00 and Fridays 9:00-10:30. Please call 806-742-3016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your time for a tour. Tours typically take approximately 30 minutes.
Do I need to be affiliated with the University to enroll my child in the CDRC?
No. CDRC enrollment is open to all members of the TTU and surrounding area communities.
Is priority given to Texas Tech University or TTU System employees before children in the community?
No. CDRC enrollment is open to all members of the TTU and surrounding area communities.
Is there any advantage to applying early?
The date of application is considered only when and if there is a need to choose between two or more children who could equally fulfill the Center's enrollment needs.
Do I have to apply for each of my children separately?
Yes. A separate application must be completed for each child.
Is there a limit to the number of applications you can receive each year?
No. We welcome all applications to our school, and we do not limit the number of applications.
How many openings do you have for each age group?
The number of openings that we have in each age group for waiting list families varies annually. However, we generally have the largest number of openings in our infant/toddler classrooms, followed by the preschool rooms, and then the 2/3-year-old classrooms.
Do you have a sibling or legacy policy?
We do not have a legacy policy. However, we do have a sibling guideline. The CDRC gives admission preference to siblings of students currently enrolled at the time of the applicant's matriculation. However, there can be no guarantee of admission for any sibling applicant. An offer of enrollment to a sibling of a currently enrolled child remains valid only if the child currently enrolled remains enrolled and attends the full semester after the sibling's enrollment. Siblings must be concurrently enrolled and attending for the sibling's preferential enrollment to remain valid.
Do you interview the families as part of your application process or accept letters of recommendation?
No. Our admission decisions are not based on an individual applicant's specific skills or abilities, and interviews/recommendations are not part of the admissions process. Additionally, our admission decisions from the application pool are made using a de-identified list of applicants. Names of applicants are kept separate from the demographic information only being linked by randomly assigned number.
Can I get on the waiting list before my child is born?
Yes. Families can apply for admission at any point in their pregnancy or approval for adoption. However, childcare licensing laws prohibit more than an 18 month span in age when infants are in care, and therefore infants born late in the summer or early fall are likely too young to be considered for enrollment for the fall semester.
How long is the wait in your application pool?
There is really no way to estimate the wait for someone in the application pool. The number of openings that we have in each age group for waiting list families varies annually. In each classroom, we balance the ages of children to provide the best reflection of age-specific development for our undergraduate laboratory students and researchers. The length of time you might remain on the waiting list is dependent upon the yearly classroom openings. Families must re-apply each year they would like to be considered for enrollment. Our acceptance of an application does not imply eventual placement for the child. Traditionally, there is a high ratio of children applying to the number of spaces available. It is very unusual that the CDRC has any openings during the school year. Most children, when enrolled in the Center, do not leave until they go to kindergarten. It is common for us to go an entire school year without enrolling any new children.
How do you decide who gets offered a spot for enrollment if it is not by length of time in the application pool?
Because the CDRC serves both a research and teaching mission for Texas Tech University, the enrollment policy is designed to provide a high-quality teacher training and research program. Enrollment is open to families in the Texas Tech and surrounding communities with the goal of having a well-rounded, diverse group of children and families that is representative of the general population. All families are welcome regardless of race, religion, cultural heritage, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or differing ability. The CDRC does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, and other Center-administered programs. Children are not enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. Selection of children is based on a comprehensive approach with the following considerations: age, special needs, family structure and socio-economic status. Selection from the application pool is made using a de-identified list of applicants. Names of applicants are kept separate from the demographic information only being linked by randomly assigned number.
I joined the waiting list before my baby was even born. People who applied after me or with older children were offered a spot. Why wasn't I offered a spot in the program?
Children are not enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. Selection of children is based on a comprehensive approach with the following considerations: age, special needs, family structure and socio-economic status. In each classroom, we balance the ages of children to provide the best reflection of age-specific development for our undergraduate laboratory students and researchers. The length of time you might remain on the waiting list is dependent upon the yearly classroom openings.
I have heard that you need to “know someone” or have a connection to get into the CDRC. Is that true?
No. Our admission decisions from the application pool are made using a de-identified list of applicants. Names of applicants are kept separate from the demographic information only being linked by a randomly assigned number.
When does the enrollment process begin?
Re-enrollment for currently enrolled families begins in March, just after spring break. Starting May 1st, we move to the application pool and begin making offers. Enrollment continues until all classroom spots have been filled. We attempt to have this process complete by the end of May; however, sometimes we go into June before the process is complete. We ask that families notify us with contact information changes so we can efficiently and accurately reach them when a spot becomes available.
When will applicants be notified if they are accepted?
We attempt to have enrollment complete by the end of May, however, sometimes we go into June before the process is complete. Offers of enrollment will be made through phone calls and emails using the contact information provided on their application. Once enrollment is complete, all families not offered a spot will be contacted through the email provided on their application.
My child has been offered a spot in the CDRC. How long do I have before I have to make the commitment?
Once offered a spot, you will have 48 hours to accept or decline the offer. If you do not respond, we will skip over your name and move to offer that spot to another family. Make sure that you've toured the center ahead of time so that you are prepared to accept a spot if one becomes available to you!
Is there a registration fee?
Yes. A non-refundable registration fee of $150.00 per child is payable at the time enrollment is offered to the family. Payment of the fee confirms the child's place in the program for the calendar year. Families enrolling at any time before or during the school year will pay this fee. There is no registration fee for enrollment in summer school. This fee is waived for families receiving CCS funding.
I applied for a previous school year but didn't get in. Do I need to re-apply?
Yes. Applications are accepted each May 1st through April 30th for the following school year. Each May we begin enrollment for the following school year. Once enrollment is complete, families are notified in writing of their acceptance into the program or if they will be placed on a wait list for potential openings for that current school year. Each May 1st the application process begins again for the next school year. All families have an opportunity to apply again for a space the following school year and pay the non-refundable $50.00 per child application fee.
Do I have to re-apply every year for my child to maintain enrollment once they are enrolled?
No. Once enrolled, a child is guaranteed continued enrollment in the program until he or she becomes ineligible for enrollment (for example, due to age, failure to pay fees, or complete required paperwork) or the family withdraws from the program.
What are the hours of operation?
Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Is this a year-round program?
No. The CDRC operates from late August to mid-May. We have an optional ½ day summer program the month of June.
How do I enroll my child in your summer program?
Spaces in our summer program are typically filled by currently enrolled children. However, any open spaces will be filled with children who are in the application pool for that year. For example, an opening in summer 2023 would be filled with families who applied for the 2022-2023 school year.
How many full-time teachers work in each classroom? What are their qualifications?
All classrooms are staffed by 2 full-time degreed teachers who are responsible for organizing the educational components of their classrooms and for providing models of developmentally appropriate practice.
What are the child to teacher ratios and group size?
In our infant classrooms (6 weeks to 2 years) the maximum group size of children is 12 with 4 staff people (full-time teachers and assistant teachers), in the 2 and 3 year-old classroom the group size is 14 with 3 staff people, and in the preschool classroom the group size is 18 with 3 staff people.
Will students enrolled in TTU observe and interact with my child?
Yes. Acceptance of enrollment indicates voluntary participation in the students' preparation and educational projects. However, participation in research is optional. Parents are informed and permission obtained for any research project. Additionally, for research projects, children's assent to participate is obtained and they are able to stop at any time without consequence.
I am looking for a nanny. I would like to find an interested Child Development student. Can you recommend anyone?
Families looking for a nanny outside of CDRC operating hours may send an ad/flyer to email@example.com with all relevant information: age(s) of child(ren), day(s), time(s), requirements, rate of pay. We will post your ad/flyer on the bulletin board in the CDRC student locker room. Additionally, the CDRC prepares a babysitting list at the start of each semester. Interested parties may email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the most recent babysitting list.
Can I visit my child any time at the CDRC?
Our open door policy welcomes families to visit the program. You may have lunch with your child, assist with a field trip, or simply help with a classroom activity. You may also observe your child from the observation rooms attached to each classroom at any time.
What meals do you offer at the CDRC? Can special dietary needs be accommodated?
A snack, provided by the Center, is served mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Snacks and lunch are spaced throughout the day with 2 to 3 hours between eating. Lunch is provided by families sending a lunchbox with a cool pack from home. Because families provide lunches, many special dietary needs can be met at that meal. Families are also able to provide substitute snacks for anything they do not wish for their child to eat. The CDRC is a peanut-fee facility.
Does the CDRC close for weather-related reasons?
In case of inclement weather, the CDRC will open late or will close early according to the Lubbock Independent School District policy or Texas Tech University policy – whichever reflects a more cautious policy. Parents will receive alert messages through BrightWheel in these circumstances.
What payment methods can I use to pay for tuition and the registration fee?
Tuition fees are based upon the total yearly cost of the program, mid-August through mid-May and is paid on a monthly basis. Payments may be made by check, money order or credit/debit cards (Visa or MasterCard only) and may be mailed or delivered in person to the CDRC office. We cannot accept cash. Because of the cost associated with accepting credit/debit cards, families are highly encouraged to pay by check or through our online portal which can be found on the CDRC website (https://www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/cdrc/fees.php)
What kinds of security measures do you have?
Our facility has been equipped with a security system that includes an electronic door lock system that keeps the doors into the center locked from the outside at all times. Each staff member and family member are issued a FOB (an electronic key) or access provided on the TTU issued ID that will allow access to the center during operating hours. The security system also includes video cameras at the entrances and in the classrooms. Video feed from these cameras are available to the Director and the Associate Director as well as TTU police department. Additionally, the CDRC is equipped with smoke detectors, a sprinkler system, fire alarm pulls, tornado alarms, emergency evacuation alarms, and silent alarms that immediately notify the TTU Police Department.
Do you do background checks/what kind of background checks do you do on students?
All staff members, both full time and part time, are subjected to fingerprinting for a criminal history and central registry check conducted by the Centralized Background Check Unit of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services before being hired. Students in the center for course credit also receive a name-based background check conducted by the same Centralized Background Check Unit of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.