Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development

The Karen Slattery ERCCD has been closed for the foreseeable future. As a result of the mandated closure due to the COVID-19 virus, and subsequent operating constraints, we no longer can safely, financially or operationally open. We will continue to monitor the situation to determine if there is an opportunity to safely and viably operate at some point; however, the timeframe for the closure is uncertain.


The Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development is a lab school for children from birth to five years of age. It is affiliated with the College of Education’s Family Early Childhood Education at Florida Atlantic University. Located on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, the center’s mission is:

  • To help young children grow intellectually, socially and emotionally in a learning environment that nurtures and supports optimal development.
  • To provide a lab school for teacher education ֱ, with an educational philosophy that is inclusive and intends to address the needs of all children whose development represents a range of abilities and learning styles.
  • To promote research in early childhood education, child development and related disciplines.
  • To serve as a fieldwork site for nursing, science and other FAU ֱ and faculty.
  • To provide a model of best practice in early childhood education for the wider educational community.

COE The Karen Slattery Center, which serves approximately 100 children, is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and follows NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate practices, based on current research and theory in child development and curriculum. Additionally, the Karen Slattery Center has been awarded a 4 Star Rating in Palm Beach County’s Quality Improvement System. The center’s staff works as a collaborative team, continuously revising and creating an enriched “project approach” integrated curriculum. Classroom projects are designed to enrich each group’s developmental levels and interests. Curriculum projects empower children to become independent thinkers and creative problem solvers, and to learn academic and social skills through investigation and discovery. The “project approach” correlates with the latest research on brain development and early literacy learning. Classroom projects meet children’s needs through group and individualized activities and outdoor and indoor experiences, which stimulate investigation in the areas of language and literature, music and movement, expressive arts, block building, dramatic play, science, woodworking and cooking. The program incorporates the Florida Sunshine Standards and is carefully structured to enhance children’s self-esteem and to develop pre-reading and pre-mathematics skills.

COE As a lab school for the College of Education, the Karen Slattery Center is a demonstration and fieldwork site for ֱ enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. FAU faculty, ֱ and teachers also conduct research at the center to advance scholarship and innovation in early childhood education and related fields of study. The Center provides diverse learning opportunities by maintaining an equal balance of boys and girls from varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Priority enrollment is given to FAU ֱ, faculty, staff and Research Development Park employees. Visit www.coe.fau.edu/erccd to register online or contact Lydia Bartram, Director, at (561)297-0130 or by email lbartram@fau.edu.