• Our Mission

    Carlow University Early Learning Center, open since 1990, is a non-profit early childhood setting that provides a high quality, full day, early educational program for children from six weeks to three years.  Our mission is to provide children a balance of social, emotional, physical and intellectual development based on developmentally appropriate practices, including the collaboration of the staff, parents and their children.



    The philosophy of Carlow University Early Learning Center maintains that children need a safe, comfortable and enriching environment in order to develop to their maximum potential. Carlow University Early Learning Center provides a secure, nurturing, early educational environment that uses developmentally appropriate activities, experiences, and materials to engage children in active, meaningful learning.


    The following goals will be achieved that will encourage the children to accomplish major developmental tasks in the areas of social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. The curriculum established within each developmental grouping will reflect the goals and philosophy.


    The developmental goals for the children are:


    To foster positive self-identity and emotional well-being focusing on building self-confidence, self-esteem, independence, and self-control
    To develop social skills and strategies for coping with social issues
    To encourage language and literacy development
    To encourage children to think, reason, question, experiment, and problem solve
    To enhance physical development and skills using small and/or large muscle development
    To encourage and model sound health, safety, and nutritional practices
    To foster creative expression, representation, and appreciation for the arts
    To respect and value cultural diversity
    To enhance the awareness of the five senses: touch, taste, hear, smell and see

    Carlow University Early Learning Center will also include the collaboration of the parents into the decisions and goals made for their children.

    Continuity of Care

    Our center strives to promote consistency in its care for young children.  Our philosophy of transition is a bit different than most traditional child care centers.  Our "continuity of care" philosophy means that our teachers and our children transition from one classroom to the next together, as opposed to when a child reaches a birthday or milestone.  This transition occurs once per year, at the end of August.  This allows cohorts of children and teachers to remain together throughout their three years with us.  New children typically enroll at this transition time in late August.  However, as spaces become available, they are filled through out waiting pool.



    The Early Learning Center is located on the Campus of Carlow University on the first floor of Frances Warde Hall. This is the first building on the right when entering Carlow University from the Fifth Avenue driveway.  Parking for pick-up/drop-off is located in front of Frances Warde Hall. 


    Operating Hours

    The Early Learning Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 



    The Early Learning Center is committed to equal opportunities and affirmative action for all persons in its child care programs and in its employment practices.  While University faculty and staff, as well as Campus School siblings do receive preference, open spaces are also available to the public.



    Our center is licensed by the Department of Human Services.  It is also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Keystone STARS program, holding a 4-STAR accreditation.


    Classroom Ratios

    Our teaching teams are comprised of three teachers in each classroom.  Our infant classroom capacity is eight children; our young toddler classroom capacity is 10 children; our older toddler classroom capacity is 12 children.  In addition, we have a full time floater and part-time students through the University that work in our classrooms.



    Our program utilizes both the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers and the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards for Infants and Toddlers in our lesson planning.  Lessons are designed to meet children's physical, socio-emotional, and intellectual development. 



    Meals are not provided as part of our program. Parents must supply a lunch daily for their child. Snacks are provided by our families on a monthly basis. Cow's milk is provided as part of our tuition and is served daily at lunch for children over one year old.

    For mothers who are breastfeeding, it is recommended that breast milk be stored in individual storage bags. Once breast milk or formula bottles have been heated, they must be eaten or discarded after one hour.



    To apply for the waitlist at the ELC, you can download and print the application here: Paper Application

    If you would like to schedule a tour of the facility, please contact the director, Karian Wise, by phone (412)578-6314 or email kwise2732@carlow.edu Tours are typically scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 or 11:00 a.m.

    New children generally begin their time with us the last week of August each year. However, as spaces become available, they are filled through our waiting pool.



2017-2018 School Year