University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

Training Ground for Tots

Childcare facility will support people doing work in early childhood education

The Early Learning Centre welcomed its first clients – 102 children of U of T faculty, staff and students – in August. The unique three-storey research and childcare facility on Glen Morris Street features indoor and outdoor play areas on each floor and integrated spaces arranged around a central ramp. The spaces have been designed to best reflect how children learn and develop, with children interacting in multi-age groups. Designed by award-winning Teeple Architects Inc. of Toronto, the building has extensive windows that flood the interior with daylight and allow for observation and interaction by staff and children alike. (Window walls in each classroom are at child’s-eye height.) “All of this is within the heart of the university’s research and teaching mission. The centre has been designed to support people who are doing work in the development of early childhood education and development,” says Susan Addario (BA 1977 St. Mike’s, MA 1981), director of student affairs. “Students doing fieldwork placement or students or faculty doing research in speech pathology, physiotherapy and even various kinds of rehab programs can conduct observational research without being obtrusive.”

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