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Teachers College, Columbia University
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The Rita Gold Early Childhood Center supports and promotes the growth and development of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families through four inter-related practices:

Direct Service to Children and Families

The Center provides child care and early education for children from 2 months to 5 years of age whose families are currently affiliated with Teachers College and/or Columbia University, in an integrated curricular, multicultural, and inclusive setting. 

Professional Preparation

Our program serves as a practicum site for students across the College who are interested in learning about issues of practice and research in early care and education. Our teachers serve as mentors to Masters students who are studying to become early childhood teachers. Masters and doctoral students from programs in music, art, school psychology, counseling, and speech pathology, among others, are also participant/observers in our classrooms. 


In collaboration with our faculty director and classroom teachers, students and faculty from departments across Teachers College engage in descriptive and observational research on children's development and learning which informs early childhood theory and practice. Teachers, graduate students, and faculty present their work at local, national, and international conferences and workshops and publish their findings in scholarly journals. 


Our Center engages in outreach activities which serve early childhood professionals in New York City, New York State, the United States, and countries around the world. We provide guided observations of the Center, in-service staff development opportunities, and international exchanges on promoting high quality child care and educational services.