The Elisabeth Amen Nursery School, affiliated with Wheaton College's Psychology Department, has been a site for child study and research since 1931.
The school's philosophy is based on the belief that young children learn best when they are allowed to play, investigate and use language to describe their experiences. While the first mission of the nursery school is to provide young children for psychology students to observe, the second and most important mission is to provide young children an environment, free of stress and formal academic demands, which allows children to cultivate their love of learning. The children in the laboratory school benefit from the expert guidance of certified teachers and college professors who are actively working in the field of child development and early childhood education.
The nursery school provides six (two and a half hour) programs:
- Two 2-day morning programs for children ages 2.9 years to 3 years 6 months
- Two 3-day morning programs for children ages 3 years 7 months to 4 years 3 months
- Two 3 or 4-day afternoon programs for children ages 4 years 4 months to kindergarten enrollment.
Classes are balanced between males and females. Age grouping and the balance between male and female children provide more opportunities for college students to observe gender and developmental issues in young children.
The nursery school is located on the campus at Wheaton College and is open to the public. Inquiries begin in early October, when parents are asked to call 508-285-8220 to place their child on an inquiry list for the following school year. In January parents on the inquiry list are invited to attend an orientation during which the philosophy of the nursery school and the procedure for enrollment are provided. Parents unable to attend a January sessions are encouraged to phone or email for an appointment.
The nursery school follows the college schedule with the exception of the month of January when the nursery school is open and the college classes are not in session.
Our teaching staff includes two full time teachers and college students who are work study students. All classes have 15 children with the exception of the 2 day morning programs where 12 children are enrolled. Our goal is to always have 3 adults in the classroom.
For more information, contact Marie O'Malley at 508-285-8220 or via email.