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Child Development Laboratory Guidelines

Child Development Laboratory Guidelines as provided by The Pennsylvania Department of Education (Highlighted sections)

Mission Statement

The mission of a child development laboratory is to provide high school students with the opportunity to observe and interact with pre-school children in a model setting that utilizes exemplary practices. In addition, these experiences offer high school students a model from which they can learn and discuss real -life concepts related to child development.


The goal of enrollment is a well-rounded, diverse group of children that is representative of the local population. In order to affect a high quality learning environment, diversity of gender, age, race, ethnicity, special needs, and family income is recommended.


A child should not attend school if the following symptoms have occurred within the last 24 hours…
Temperature over 100 degrees
Vomiting or diarrhea
Severe coughing
Yellowish skin or eyes
Pink eye
Chicken pox that are not scabbed
Head lice, including visible nits
Visible impetigo
Open and/or weeping sores
Any other communicable disease
If a child becomes ill after arriving at school, a parent/guardian or emergency contact person will be called to pick up the child immediately. The child should be isolated from other children until picked up.


High school students shall be trained in specific guidance techniques including:
Providing clear and simple limits
Maintaining age-appropriate expectations for young children
Creating a caring atmosphere
Keeping children productively involved
Modeling appropriate behaviors
Positively redirecting inappropriate behaviors toward desired
Giving children choices between two acceptable alternatives
Encouraging children to work together to solve problems and
make cooperative decisions
Encouraging children to use their words to solve problems
Providing logical and appropriate consequences for
children’s actions
Removing children from a situation until they are calm and
able to discuss the problem


Child development laboratories exist to support child development curricular concepts. Child development curriculum and child development laboratories are to be taught by Family and Consumer Sciences certified teachers (CSPG #53, part 3). Under the supervision of FCS teachers, students enrolled in Child Development classes study, design, and implement age-appropriate learning activities to explore and understand the development of pre-school children. These experiences provide opportunities for high school students to develop
skills in behavior management, to identify developmental milestones, and to practice negotiation, cooperation, and leadership through teamwork. These laboratory programs provide educational experiences necessary for teaching and assessing the state and national curriculum standards for child development.

By design, these programs are exempt from licensure by both the Department of Welfare (Title 55. Public Welfare Federal Regs., Section 3270.4 and 1978 DPW Fed. Regs. Section 259) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (Act 1988-11, Laws of Pennsylvania, Section 5).

Accidental Injury

If a child is injured at school, a parent/guardian will be called, and first aid will be administered either by the FCS teacher or when available, the school nurse. If a child needs immediate medical attention, the FCS teacher will call 911. Then the parent/guardian or the child’s physician will be called. If the parent cannot be reached, the emergency contact will be phoned. The FCS teacher will accompany the child to the hospital, bringing records and parent permission forms.
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