Child Development Lab School

About Us:

The Amarillo College Child Development Lab School is a premier early child care center established in 1973.  The Child Development Lab School is currently accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has been since 1991.  The Lab School is designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of young children three months old to five years of age.  We are also a 5 star Provider through Texas Rising Star.  Our main focus is to serve as an educational tool for the students of the Amarillo College Child Development/Education department, as well as other educational institutions in the Amarillo area.  Therefore, there are many observation students who vist our center; however, all observation students are required to clear a criminal background check and are not involved in the instruction of children.

The Lab School participates in a research based project called Texas School Ready! in place in the three and four year old room. This program is designed to prepare kids for kindergarten with their primary focus on promoting literacy in children.  This program has had tremendous success at preparing children for kindergarten and making great teachers into excellent teachers.  
The Lab School also participates in a program called Parents As Teachers.   Parents as Teachers is a program for infants and toddlers.  The goals of Parents as Teachers is to increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase children's school readiness and school success.

Mission Statement:

The AC Child Development Lab School serves a diverse community with a model of excellence for the early care and education of children. Intentional practices enrich the whole child with appropriate activities, choices and support of individual needs. Guided by the interests of each child, each family becomes a partner with the Center to provide the best foundation in these important early years. As teachers, students, children and families we learn and grow together.


The goals of the curriculum are designed to provide maximum opportunity & resources to help children experience and master development in all the following domains: physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development.  Teachers prepare intentional lesson plans based on the individual developmental needs of each child.  Our curriculum is both teacher and child directed; therefore, based on the child's interests and needs, teachers plan activities to meet those needs of the individual and group.
For more information about our curriculum, visit our Curriculum page.

Parent Involvement

We encourage all parents and or guardians to be involved in the activities. We believe parental participation is key to any successful child care program. We welcome parent visits. We have an open door policy to allow parents access to the center during operational hours. Below is a list sample list of some of the opportunities for involvement in our center. Parents are in no way limited to the involvement listed. Any parent wishing to be involved in another area is strongly encouraged to contact the Director with their suggestion.

For more information about our parent involvement, visit our Parent Involvement page.

Parents are a child's first and most influential teacher.


Enrollment in the Child Development Lab School is open to families of any race, national or ethnic origin, religious or political affiliation, provided the Center can meet the needs of the child.

Parents who are considering first-time enrollment of their child are encouraged to visit the center. The scheduling of these visits should be arranged through the Lab School office at (806) 356-3636. A child's waiting list application can be completed at any time before or after the Center visit. It is a simple process to be put on the waiting list and requires the Lab School to obtain general information such as a child's date of birth and contact information of the parent. It is important, once on the waiting list, to update the center about any telephone, email, and/or address changes.

The waiting list is updated on a regular basis. Each spring semester, currently enrolled families are asked if they intend to return the following school year. They are asked to sign a form indicating their intention to return and indicating any changes in enrollment options. First priority is given to returning children maintaining the same schedule, and then to children requesting a schedule change. After filling these requests, it is determined how many vacancies will be available for the fall in each class. The primary criterion for selecting children from the waiting list is time on the waiting list. There are a few exceptions, however.

To add yourself to our waiting list:  Waiting List Form

It is very unusual that the Child Development Lab School 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 even one new child in any classroom.

The waiting list is a very fluid’ document which changes from day to day based on new children being placed on the list as well as children aging from one age group to the next.  Despite our hesitation, people often request to find out their “number” on the list. Please understand when making this request that this number can and does change often.  

For more information, visit our Enrollment or Fees page.

Observation Students

 Our main focus is to serve as an educational tool for the students of the Amarillo College Child Development/Education department, as well as other educational institutions in the Amarillo area. If you are an observation student, please visit our Observation page for more information on criminal history checks and observation student policies.

Contact Us

Child Development Lab School
Amarillo College West Campus
6222 West 9th Ave.
Amarillo, TX 79106

Phone: (806) 356-3636
              (806) 356-3637

Fax: (806) 356-3625

We are located directly behind the Allied Health building and next to the Gym and Dance building.  For a map to the Child Development Lab School, click here.