Early Childhood Development Center at Notre Dame

ECDC’s program on the University of Notre Dame campus (ECDC-ND) is located at the corner of Bulla and Leahy Roads on the east side of the campus.

ECDC-ND operates 12 months (49 weeks) of the year with the following programs: School Year, Optional Extended School Year, Summer Day Camp and Optional Extended Summer Program. The 35 week School Year program coincides with the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s college school years. ECDC-ND enrolls children ages two through six during the school year and children ages two and one half through ten during the summer.

ECDC-ND is licensed for 165 children in attendance at one time, in either full time or part time schedules. ECDC-ND is open to members of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College communities (e.g., faculty, staff, students, administration, alumni/alumnae, employees of Holy Cross Order institutions).The ECDC-ND program is not open to the public.

Hours:  7:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Monday – Friday

Licensing requirements limit a child’s daily attendance to a maximum of 10 hours.

Morning Arrival Time: 7:45 – 9:00 a.m.

Afternoon Arrival Times: 12:45 – 1:00 p.m. if child is not enrolled for lunch; 11:45 – 12:00 p.m. if child is enrolled for lunch.

Morning Departure Times: 11:30 – 11:45 p.m. if child is not enrolled for lunch;  12:30 – 12:45 p.m. if child is enrolled for lunch.

Afternoon Departure Times: 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. is recommended departure time if child is only enrolled for the afternoon program.

Children enrolled on an all day schedule may leave at any time in the afternoon prior to 5:15 p.m.

ECDC-ND operates the following activity rooms:

  • 2 year old activity room for 15 children and four teachers. The children love their big round window; they can see and wave to everyone.
  • 3 year old activity room for 20 children and three teachers.
  • 3/4 year old activity room for 20 children and three teachers.
  • 4 year old activity room for 24 children and three teachers.
  • 4/5 year old activity room for 24 children and three teachers.
  • Kindergarten Program for 26 children, ages five to six, and three teachers. ECDC-ND provides an all day Kindergarten program as well as half day kindergarten morning schedule or a half day enrichment afternoon.

Other areas of ECDC at Notre Dame:
The Gathering Area : The large open area provides space for groups of children to gather for special events, such as storytelling, a puppet show or sing-alongs. It also provides an area for parents to talk with one another when arriving or leaving with their children. The shelves located on the east wall of the gathering area house a family lending library for children and parents. Children borrow books to take home, using an honor system. Books, pamphlets and videos, which support the important job of parenting, are available for families to borrow.

Our Gross Motor Room : This room is wonderful, especially on those cold and/or wet inclement weather days, when our children can’t play outside. Our gross motor room provides our children with space to move, dance, bounce and catch balls, use scooter boards, walk on balance beams, use the rocking boat, climb on tumbling mats, play parachute games and beanbag toss, crawl through tunnels or sit on the window bench gazing at the beautiful nature around us. During the summer, this room is used by 26 children, ages eight, nine, and ten, enrolled in the summer day camp program.

Our Playground : The playground is divided into five areas – 1) a playground for our two year olds, 2) the “big playground” with a large climber, sand box and garden, 3) the “bike trail” with a gazebo and gravel pit for play trucks, 4) the “East Meadow” and 5) the “Big Meadow.” The two year old children, in the internal playground, enjoy watching all of the activity around them. Their playground equipment is just the right size for them. The climbing structure is smaller and the mulch underneath is very soft. The two year olds’ room enters directly onto the playground, which provides wonderful opportunities to easily bring the inside learning environment to the play yard.

The “big playground” for our preschool and kindergarten age children includes a sand pit, swings, climbing structure, drive-through playhouse, musical instruments (drums and chimes) and a garden. It is designed for children ages three through six. The “bike trail” is a wonderful path for scooters, wagons and bikes. The bike trail also includes a gazebo with books to read and a gravel pit to play with construction vehicles. At the end of the bike trail is a garden maintained by our kindergarten community. An outside drinking fountain, covered porch and shade from our many trees keep the children comfortable on warm, sunny days.

The East Meadow is the perfect size for sprinkler play or recreational games for the younger groups. The Big Meadow is used predominantly by our school age children during the summer program. It provides a large space to play soccer, recreational games, as well as providing an ideal space for our end of school and end of summer picnics. Our preschool children enjoy the Big Meadow throughout the seasons as they learn and connect with nature in this beautiful grass area lined by trees.

“Over the past three years we have watched our eldest son flourish at ECDC-ND. In this time we have seen growth in his self-confidence, communication skills, and conflict resolution abilities. Much of this we attribute to his time at ECDC-ND and their focus on the well being of the whole child. We love that our son has spent these years discovering through play and believe that this time has set him on a life-long path to love learning. We are excited that our youngest will soon begin his journey with ECDC-ND!”  —Parents of 1 child who attends ECDC-ND and another who will begin soon at ECDC-ND