The Skidmore Early Childhood Center is a laboratory school affiliated with the Education Department at Skidmore College. The center provides educational programs for young children and their families within Saratoga County in an environment designed to encourage exploration of materials and to foster positive social interaction, as well as to help each child develop as an individual. The center is equipped with observation facilities that are used by parents, college students and faculty. Students interested in early childhood education, elementary education, psychology and other disciplines enjoy a variety of practica under the direction of the center's professional staff. Opportunities are available, under faculty supervision, for independent research studies with children. Educational research is part of the regular program and consists of evaluating the best educational practices for young children. Research projects are reviewed and carefully planned within the setting.
The curriculum is designed to encourage young children to explore and experiment. Carefully planned activities of the program are organized into an environment that encourages and facilitates play, which is seen as the critical learning activity of the young child.
Individual classroom may vary in environmental arrangement and program features according to individual teaching styles and the needs as well as interests of the children.
The center is supported by its tuition revenues and by college support funds. Skidmore supports the center in order to provide enriching experiences for students, faculty and the Saratoga community.
The Early Childhood Center operates a pre-kindergarten class and classes for 3- and 4-year-old children. Children are eligible for the program based on their age as of December 1 of each school year.
Students enjoy responding to literature through art and creating their own stories through art.