The Douglass Psychology Child Study Center is a twelve-month Rutgers University preschool sponsored and operated by the Psychology Department. The Center provides education and childcare for children ages 1-5 years of age and can trace its history back over eighty-five years. A recent collaboration with the Culture of Health Academy within the Center for Childhood Nutrition Education and Research at the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health has led to a program expansion and the opening of a second site. Both sites are located on the Cook/Douglass campuses of Rutgers New Brunswick.
Curriculum and Schedules: The Douglass Psychology Child Study Center utilizes the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos and the Creative Curriculum for Preschoolers to design thoughtful and intentional experiences for each of the classrooms and their respective age levels. In accordance with our Mission and Philosophy Statement, great care is devoted to creating developmentally appropriate learning activities to support the overall development of each child. Children will participate in activities and opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles. Large portions of the day are devoted to Center Time (self-selected learning activities). There are two Circle Times, scheduled for the children to come together to share in discussions, songs and movement activities. Outdoor play times occur two or three times a day, weather permitting. A nap time is built into the schedule for children under the age of five. Children are expected to arrive no later than 9:45am. The Center opens at 7:30am to provide care for children whose parents need to drop off early and this is available at no extra charge.
Through our research and academic affiliations with the Psychology Department and the Culture of Health Academy at the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, our program has access to the latest innovations in early childhood curriculum and development.
Click on the link below to visit Rutgers Today on YouTube and learn more about our renowned and worldwide science curriculum, Preschool Pathways to Science!
Classrooms: We have two schools within our program: Nursery and KinderGarden. In the Nursery, two classes are offered: Intermediates (mobile 1 year olds) and Toddlers (2 year olds). With consideration given to children with physical impairments, children enrolling in Nursery classrooms must be able to walk. In KinderGarden, two classes are offered: Preschool (3 year olds) and Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds). Children enrolling in our KinderGarden classrooms must be potty-trained. Enrollment and classroom placements are based on the child’s age by October 1 to facilitate yearly transitions to older classrooms and ultimately, into grade school. Emphasis is placed upon social-emotional development; varying cognitive development levels within classrooms are addressed through individualized curriculum.
Staff: Our classrooms are led by licensed teachers who are formally trained in our curriculum, curriculum assessment tools, and developmental screening tools. Supplementary staff consist of full-time teacher assistants, part-time teacher aides, interns, and college fieldwork students. All staff undergo fingerprinting and background checks and must complete the University’s Protection of Minors training annually.
Academic and Research Affiliation: The Center is the lab school for the Psychology Department. All research projects conducted must be approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University and our Center's Psychology Department Liaison, Dr. Judith Hudson; further information on procedures can be found on the Information for Researchers page. Parents will be notified in writing concerning any research projects currently being conducted at the Center and may choose whether or not they want their child to participate. The Center often supports the development of new curricula in the field of early childhood development and education. Pilot curricula and activities may occur in the classrooms at any time during a child’s enrollment in the Center’s program. All children participate in these program implementations, however, research data will only be collected for the children whose parents have provided their written consent for their children’s participation in the study. The Center also provides support for the Fieldwork in Child Development class. Fieldwork students must work a minimum of 4 hours each week in one of the classrooms to fulfill their course requirements. Families enrolling in our programs do so with the understanding that college students will be actively engaged with all children in our classrooms while participating in academic courses. Further information and course syllabi can be found on the Information for Rutgers Students page. Internships are also available to undergraduate students majoring in Psychology and the number of credits (6-9) is based upon the number of hours the interns work at the Center.
Security: Security: The Center’s Nursery and KinderGarden sites are secured facilities and access is by authorized individuals only. Upon enrollment, active Rutgers affiliate parents will be granted access through their RUID; non-Rutgers affiliates will be provided with key fobs.
Observation windows for all classrooms are available so that parents may watch and listen to classroom activities at any time.
Parent Participation: Center parents are welcome to join the Parents' Advisory Committee. The Committee meets regularly to discuss Center policies and procedures, special activities, and fundraising. Parent workshops are available throughout the year to provide support concerning early childhood issues.
Parent Engagement: Enrolled parents have access to our Procare Parent Portal which allows parents to view tuition statements, attendance records, and allows for daily parent engagement with teachers and staff.
Parent Support: Enrolled parents have access to the secure Parent Sakai site which provides parent resources, parent-to-parent networking opportunities, and access to Center forms.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided each day. Meal Menus are posted internally and on this website. We are able to accommodate most special diets and dietary restrictions. Outside food is not permitted for the health and safety of all children.
Personal Care Items:
Nap linens are provided by the Center for each child. The Center will also launder these linens weekly for each child.
Diapers, training pants, and baby wipes are provided for each child enrolled in Toddlers and Preschool.
Sunscreen is provided by the Center for each child. Parents must apply a morning application prior to bringing their child to school; Center staff will reapply sunscreen in the afternoons.
Links to parent resources and medical forms can be found on the Information for Parents page.
Hours: The Center is open from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and parents may drop off any time in the morning before 9:45am and pick up any time before 6pm. Families enroll in the Center’s program with the understanding that their child must be present by 9:45am each day. The Center does not offer Part-Time or Part-Day enrollment.
Tuition and Fees:
Rutgers Affiliates rates are listed first, followed by Community rates.
,br> Intermediates (1 year olds): $1,300/$1,400
Toddlers (2 year olds): $1,200/$1,300
Preschool (3 year olds): $1,100/$1,200 Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds): $1,000/$1,100
Rutgers Affiliate rates are extended to active University faculty, staff, and students.
A $100 Registration Fee is due upon initial enrollment and annually when the enrollment contract is renewed.
Two Enrollment Contracts are available: Academic Year (September-June) and Summer (July & August). Partial contracts are not available. One full calendar month’s notice is required for families who wish to withdraw prior to the expiration of their contract and is subject to the terms described in the Center’s Withdrawal Policy.
Tuition includes all diapers, training pants and wipes for children who are not potty trained in the Nursery program
Tuition may be paid by cash, check, money order, or credit card. Tuition is non-refundable and credits are not given for vacations, absences, illnesses, weather closures, or scheduled Center closures.