ChAD Lab Preschool

ChAD Lab Preschool

At our Child Development Laboratory Preschool at San José State University, we believe that young children's development can be enhanced intellectually, emotionally, and socially when children are free to explore an environment that is rich in activities, safe in its physical design and implementation, and staffed by knowledgeable individuals who are respectful in their interactions with children.

In addition to creating a safe, fun, and educational learning environment for children, our preschool also creates opportunities for SJSU students who are studying child development to grow academically and professionally.

About Us

We operate two classrooms, a toddler lab for children who are 2 years of age and a muti-age lab for children who are 3-5 years of age. We follow the SJSU academic calendar and are in session during the fall and spring semesters. Occasionally we will hold a summer session.

Fall 2023 Calendar

  • Monday, August 28 | First day of Fall Program
  • Monday, September 4 | Closed for Labor Day
  • Thursday - Friday, November 23-24 | Closed for Thanksgiving
  • Tuesday, November 28 | Last day of Spring Program
  • Wednesday, November 29 - Tuesday, December 5 | Parent-Teacher Conferences

Spring 2024 Calendar 

  • Wednesday, January 31 | First day of Spring Program
  • Monday, April 1 - Friday, April 5 | Closed for Spring Break
  • Monday, May 6 | Last day of Spring Program
  • Thursday, May 9 - Wednesday, May 15 | Parent-Teacher Conferences 

Toddler Lab | For 2 Year Olds

  • Must be 2 years of age by September 1

2 Day Schedule Options

  • Monday/Wednesday, 9:00-11:00am OR Tuesday/Thursday, 9:00-11:00am
  • Fee for August: $40
  • Fee for September, October, November, February, March, and April: $200/month
  • There is no fee for May

4 Day Schedule Option

  • Monday-Thursday, 9:00-11:00am
  • Fee for August: $60
  • Fee for September, October, November, February, March, and April: $330/month
  • The is no fee for May

Multi-age Lab | For 3-5 Year Olds

  • Must be 3 years by September 1 and be fully toilet trained

Morning Schedule Option

  • Monday-Thursday, 9:00-11:30am
  • August fee: $60
  • Fee for September, October, November, February, March, and April: $320/month
  • There is no fee for May

Afternoon Schedule Option

  • Monday-Thursday, 12:30-3:00pm
  • August fee: $50
  • Fee for September, October, November, February, March, and April: $300/month
  • There is no fee for May

A $45 non-refundable registration fee is required of all new applicants on their first day of class. Fees are due on the first school day of the month. Checks payable to SJSU, and please write your child’s name on your check in the memo section.

Child playing outdoors

Our Philosophy

We believe that children learn best through play! When children are engaged in hands-on, developmentally appropriate play experiences the learning is limitless. This means the children will get messy by doing what they choose –painting, building, playing games, using their imaginations, etc. The children will be invited to ask lots of questions about their environment. Through active inquiry and with support/guidance from responsive Teachers, the children will answer their own questions.

Children will also spend time socializing with their peers. We believe that through socialization, children will learn how to be more productive, successful, and caring. We focus a lot of time and energy on language development because every child will be communicating, negotiating, and problem solving for the rest of their lives. We believe that supporting a child’s interest will create their momentum of becoming a lifelong learner.

Kindergarten readiness is on our minds and in our daily classroom practices. We look to the California Preschool Learning Foundations for curricular support. We also look to the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for support in our practices.


Curriculum at the Child Development Lab Preschool includes child-initiated and some teacher-led activities and experiences offered to young children that support and enrich their development emotionally, socially, physically, and cognitively. Self-selection or “free-play” is a daily part of the curriculum and means a child has the opportunity to choose which center or activity they participate in. This promotes creative expression and development of important social skills. Teachers are expected to actively participate with the children during free play activities by asking open-ended questions about what the children are doing, participating in their pretend play, reading books when prompted, encouraging children to try new activities or play with a new item(s), etc.

ChAD Lab Activities

Parent and Family Information

Classroom Observations for Parents and Families

Parents can utilize our observation spaces after drop off, during class time and before pick up to see how our program really works. It is important for parents to see our busy, happy, active and creative program and how their child is at play in our environment.

These spaces are also shared with SJSU undergraduate and graduate students who seek to observe young children’s behaviors for educational purposes. SJSU students might be seen using these spaces to record written observations needed for course assignments in various disciplines.

ChAD students and child

Faculty and Student Information

Faculty Research

For faculty who are interested in conducting research at the preschool, please contact Joy Foster, Lab School Director at

Classroom Observations for SJSU Students

For some course assignments, students may be required to complete observations of young children under the age of five. Our two lab schools have observation rooms that can be used by students for these course assignments. Prior to visiting one of our observation rooms, please select the button below to complete our google form. 

  • Toddler Lab: The Toddler Lab class is for children 2 years of age. There are two class times- Monday/Wednesday 9:00-11:00am and Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-11:00am. This observation room is located in Sweeney Hall (SH) room 117-J.
  • Multi-age Lab: The Multi-age Lab class is for children 3-5 years of age. The morning session is from 9-11:30am and the afternoon session is from 12:30-3:00pm Monday through Thursday.  There is no class on Friday.  This observation room is located in Central Classroom Building (CCB) room 117.

Important reminders for students observing our classrooms:

  • Complete Observation Room Google Form
  • Carry and be ready to show your student SJSU Tower ID.
  • Be respectful and follow the posted rules in the observation room
  • Do not enter the classrooms or have contact with the children without permission of the lab instructor.

Select to Complete Observation Room Google Form 

Faculty, Staff and Student-Teachers

We insist that all staff members adhere to the state Licensing requirements. Staff members are considered - Lab Instructors or Head Teachers, Student-Teachers, Teacher-Assistants, and Substitute Teachers. Before working in the classroom, each staff member will:

  • Complete a Background Clearance (through fingerprinting/Live Scan)
  • Submit a proof of up to date immunizations (DTaP and MMR)
  • Submit a proof of a negative TB skin or blood test (dated within 1 year)
  • Complete Mandated Reporter Certificate 
  • Lab Instructors and substitutes are required to obtain all of the above plus:
  • CPR and First Aid certification, retraining every 2 years
  • Child Development Permit, renewal every 5 years

The Toddler and Multi-Age Lab Instructors are faculty members in the Child and Adolescent Development (ChAD) department at SJSU. Both instructors have earned their MA Degrees in Child Development or related fields and hold the Child Development Director Permits through California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

Student-Teacher Responsibilities

Student-Teachers are an integral part of our program providing individual attention to your child, and at the same time they are learning through direct, hands-on experience how to foster a child's development. Our Student-Teachers have many duties throughout the semester that gives them a view of what teaching looks and feels like in the early childhood classroom.

While constant supervision is MOST important, they will also have curricular and classroom responsibilities. Our Student-Teachers will be designing and implementing learning opportunities for the children, and having engaging interactions with the children.

Joy Foster and child

Contact Us

For additional questions about the Lab School or Multi-Age Classroom, please contact Joy Foster, Lab School Director at

For questions about the Toddler Classroom, please contact Jessica Fraser, Toddler Classroom Instructor, at

Apply to enroll your child in our preschool