History

History

The history of the Early Childhood Education Program dates back over 75 years, and we have a long tradition of providing high-quality care to UC Berkeley’s youngest students. In our classrooms on the UC Berkeley campus, the best developmental research is put into practice.

In 1927, Berkeley founded the Institute of Child Welfare, to provide a quality nursery school for children, while providing scholars access to a young population for observation and research. As one of the first such sites in the country, some of the most famous and innovative longitudinal studies in childhood development originated here.

In 1960, the nursery school was renamed the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center. The oldest of our centers, Harold E. Jones remains the longest continuously running child study center in the United States, attracting researchers and visitors from a variety of disciplines, including Education, Sociology, Linguistics, Architecture, Psychology, and Public Health.

Seeking high-quality early childhood education and care for their children, parent demand has driven the expansion of the ECEP. Faculty even established a parent co-op in 1969, which has become part of the ECEP family of centers. Since our inception in 1928, we have expanded to five locations and currently serve more than 250 students – infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

In recognition that we serve UC Berkeley’s youngest students, the ECEP is currently overseen by the UC Berkeley Division of Student Affairs. Throughout our growth, our promise has remained the same: to develop innovative and effective teaching and learning approaches, and to apply them for the benefit of our students and families.

Learn more about our ground-breaking research.