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Rita Gold Early Childhood Center
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Rita Gold Early Childhood Center

Rita Gold Early Childhood Center

Home > Welcome to the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center

Welcome to the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center

The Rita Gold Early Childhood Center serves to promote the growth and development of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families through four inter-related practices:

  • Child care and early education for young children from 2 months to 5 years
  • Professional preparation for graduate students
  • Ongoing research to improve practice and inform theory in early childhood care and education
  • Outreach activities for early childhood professionals locally, nationally, and internationally

Founded in 1982 as the Center for Infants and Parents and located at Teachers College, the Center now provides inclusive and culturally responsive care for infants, toddlers, preschool children, and their families who are affiliated with Columbia University.

  • Dana Frantz Bentley, Doctoral Research Fellow

    …a child suggested that we should go to Mushroom Park. The teacher asked why…and then another asked how we would decide to go, and a child said, "Oh, well we have to vote so it will be fair." A child counted out the votes, an overwhelming majority in favor of the trip… a child could have a suggestion that would immediately shape our day, even a suggestion that was out of the ordinary or even a bit challenging would be honored or discussed. It made me think about all of the unnecessary rules and routines that often shape our work and really interrogate their meaning. …I changed as a teacher on that day…and this is the standard that I try to hold myself to…Rita Gold reshaped what I see as possible in early childhood education.

    - Dana, Doctoral Research Fellow
  • Beth Saidel, parent

    Rita Gold was an extraordinary start in life for Oliver and a tremendous support for me as a single mother. I still remember the first days when at 3 months…the teachers would do little movements and things with him and say how remarkable he was! … We loved the community and the teachers...They were loving and caring teachers who were totally devoted to Oliver's educational experience. The grad students were incredibly impressive and meant a lot to Oliver.

    Beth, parent
  • Graduate Assistant

    I have worked and visited many childhood centers throughout my schooling and career as an early childhood educator but there is really no place like RGC. It was a place of growth, wonder and study for me but I think this was one of the things that made it especially unique for all involved there. Teachers and children were constantly involved in thoughtfulness, exploration, wonder and study.

    Graduate Assistant

  • Douglas Almond, parent

    I remember so many wonderful times: Kuan playing guitar with Charlotte, my putting Abigail on the slide in the infant room for the first time, watching Solveig play in the preschool room. We live near the Little Red Lighthouse, and when I see it, I always remember that [on a field trip] the park ranger cried when Charlotte's class brought her a gift!...BTW, Charlotte says: ʺI remember the play strucsher in the big class room and I rememberd the art show.ʺ

    Douglas, parent
  • Dana Neacsu, parent

    My oldest daughter joined RGC in the preschool room and missed a lot of RGC fun. Still Zoe remembers fondly when her parents came and cooked risotto for all her friends there. My daughter, Izzie, was very lucky to have wonderful teachers through all her years at RGC, starting in the infant room and ending with Margaret and Kuan as her pre-school teachers. She loved every hour she spent at RGC with the friends she made there, but perhaps the most cherished were the moments when she sang, danced, painted...

    Dana, parent