About Us

The Early Childhood Development Center, Inc.
ECDC is a nonprofit early childhood program serving young children ages 2 through age 6 (Kindergarten) during the school year and ages 2.5 through age 10 during the summer.

ECDC offers preschool, Kindergarten, child care, daycare day care) offering full time and part time enrollment. Also, a vibrant summer day camp (summer daycare, day care) with full and part time enrollment schedules for children ages 2.5 through 10 is offered.

Locations: ECDC offers two programs for young children, one on the beautiful Saint Mary’s College campus (ECDC-SMC) and the other on the lovely University of Notre Dame campus (ECDC-ND).

Who does ECDC Serve: The ECDC-SMC program serves families affiliated to Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College as well as families from the Michiana community that aren’t affiliated to Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College. ECDC-SMC serves families who live in South Bend, Mishawaka, Granger, Osceola, New Carlisle, and Elkhart, as well as Edwardsburg, Niles and Berrien Springs in Michigan.

ECDC-ND serves families affiliated to Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, specifically ND and SMC employees, students and alum.

Both ECDC programs operate with the same governance structure, philosophy, teacher credentials, accreditation, licensure, curriculum, college student involvement, and parent involvement. Both ECDC programs are NAEYC Accredited & Indiana Paths to Quality – Level 4 (the highest quality level attainable). An eighteen member Board of Directors, which includes parent representation from each ECDC program, governs both ECDC programs.

Benefits of NAEYC Accreditation
Benefits of Paths To Quality

Established in 1971 on the Saint Mary’s College campus. ECDC expanded in 1994 to the University of Notre Dame campus.

ECDC MISSION: The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), provides the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and the South Bend/Mishawaka communities with high quality, NAEYC Accredited early care and education for young children and their families. ECDC implements Best Practices that foster the children’s healthy social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative development. ECDC’s active learning environment fosters the development of respect, responsibility, resourcefulness and responsiveness and includes highly qualified teachers, low teacher child ratios, child centered emergent curriculum and collaborations with families. ECDC is a model program for professional development, college student practicum experiences and research for faculty and students.

BACKGROUND: The Early Childhood Development Center, Inc. (ECDC), founded in 1971, is a nonprofit, licensed child care center partially funded by Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame.  ECDC provides both full and part time programs for children in the Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame community.  Since the fall of 1994, ECDC operates two sites, one on the campus of Saint Mary’s College (ECDC-SMC) and the other on the campus of the University of Notre Dame (ECDC-ND).  Both sites are governed by one Board of Directors and operate with the same philosophy, curriculum, parent involvement and college student involvement.  The ECDC teachers are educated and experienced in child development and early childhood education.

PHILOSOPHY: The ECDC program seeks to enhance the development of each child.  The learning environment, activities, and daily schedule foster social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative development through experience-based, hands-on activities and play.  A central goal is the promotion of children’s self-confidence and the love of learning.ECDC provides a nurturing environment within which young children grow and develop.  We view ourselves as an extension of each child’s family.  As such, we strive to develop a supportive relationship with parents throughout their child or children’s ECDC involvement.

ECDC enrolls children with differing social and ethnic backgrounds from the Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame communities.  We are committed to providing all children enrolled with a multicultural curriculum and experiences.  ECDC welcomes students of any race, color, religion, gender, and national or ethnic origin.
Services provided:  preschool, child care, kindergarten, daycare, day care, summer camp, camp for school age children.

“We had two children that attended ECDC from 2 through kindergarten and it was a remarkable experience.  The variety of experiences offered was stimulating and enriching.  Our children continued with the summer program until they aged out and we are very grateful for the impact ECDC had on their lives and on our family.”
–Parents of 2 children who attended ECDC-ND