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Early Childhood Lab Gets New Playground

Contact: Brad Duncan

Photo of University of Kentucky Early Childhood Lab's  new playground.
Early Childhood Lab's new playground

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“The Early Childhood Lab provides not only an excellent teaching tool for our students, but one of the highest-rated child care facilities in the state. The Lab is a testament to our collaboration with the Lexington community, but what makes this facility so special is the active role the parents take to help maintain the Lab.”

-- Lee T. Todd Jr.,
president,
University of Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2003) -- The University of Kentucky Early Childhood Lab (ECL) dedicated its new playground in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the facility located at 149 Washington Ave.

“The Early Childhood Lab provides not only an excellent teaching tool for our students, but one of the highest-rated child care facilities in the state,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “The Lab is a testament to our collaboration with the Lexington community, but what makes this facility so special is the active role the parents take to help maintain the Lab.”

The new playground replaces the previous wooden structure that was constructed in the 1970s by parents of children in the ECL program. Established in 1928, the ECL serves as an on-site preschool and child-care program for children ages six weeks to five years. Children currently in the program have family members who work or study at UK, or live in the greater Lexington area. The ECL recently received a four-star rating, the highest rating an early care and education program can achieve in Kentucky’s STARS for KIDS NOW quality rating system. It is one of only two in Lexington and one of only eight in the state to receive this rating.

“During a time of tight budgets, the Lab has managed to build an inspiring outdoor play environment for its children and to achieve a level of excellence that is unprecedented in its history,” said Jennifer Grisham Brown, ECL director. “These achievements occurred because of a group of people who daily have ‘large’ wishes and are willing to work hard to make those wishes come true. I'm convinced that with their commitment, the Lab will continue to expand and serve as a model for the state of Kentucky.”

The ECL is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and has collaborations with both Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) and Community Action Council/Head Start (CAC/HS). The ECL and FCPS have worked together since 1993 through the Early Start Program, which serves children ages 3 to 5 who are “at risk” through income or development. Its partnership with CAC/HS has existed since 1999 and enhances the ECL program by providing training of staff and monetary support for equipment and class materials.


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