For nearly 100 years, the Auburn University Early Learning Center, or AUELC, has offered quality education for children in the heart of Auburn’s campus. In the summer of 2022, AUELC will move to a renovated space on campus that allows the re-establishment of its two-year-old class.
The Early Learning Center was built in 1939 on Thach Concourse and has served as home to the AUELC, part of the Human Development and Family Science program in the College of Human Sciences, since its construction.
Next summer, AUELC will move into the renovated Dawson Building on the corner of S. Donahue Drive and Thach Ave. Director Sharon Wilbanks said the center will benefit from the new space’s convenience and amenities.
“The new location will offer classroom space specifically designed by and for us, parking adjacent to the building, an additional classroom for a two-year-old class, and brand-new playgrounds,” Wilbanks said. “We will still be in the central campus space but with the addition of convenient access and parking.”
AUELC currently offers classes for three and four-year-olds, led by teachers with advanced degrees in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. The center’s teaching philosophy is grounded in the value of play. Teachers serve as co-collaborators with children as they explore the world around them.
In addition, Human Development and Family Science students serve as teaching assistants as part of their training to become developmental specialists. Faculty from across Auburn’s departments also study child development at the center.
The two-year-old class has not been offered at AUELC since 2000, when major renovations were made to the current building and parents asked AUELC leadership to offer more three-year-old class days. With its reestablishment, AUELC will offer two-day, three-day, and five-day options for parents of two-year-old students with a class capacity of 12.
“The AUELC offers a highly individualized, play-based program designed to enrich the child in all developmental domains. The curriculum is based on developmentally appropriate practice and the latest research on how children develop and learn,” Wilbanks said. “Over 95% of brain development happens before the age of five and we strive to capitalize on the massive growth taking place between the ages of two and five.”
Applications open on Oct. 1 and close when classes are full. Once classrooms reach capacity, waiting lists will be created and acceptance letters will be mailed in early February. For more information and to apply, visit aub.ie/auelc.