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Faculty of Community Services

About the Early Learning Centre

The Ryerson Early Learning Centre (ELC) is the school's licensed laboratory early learning and child care centre.

We provide a full-day child care and early learning program for 65 children from ages 16 months to five years.

Qualified educators

The Manager of the ELC is Kim Watts who leads a team of ten full-time RECE senior and intern positions, registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario (RECE). They also hold degrees in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Studies, or related fields as a minimum qualification. Many of them have been with the ELC for several years. The assistants are recent graduates and students from the school of Early Childhood Studies program and qualified RECEs from the community.

The children are located in four classrooms as follows:



Toddler Room 152
(2 staff)

Serves 10 children (18 months - 30 months)

Toddler Room 163
(2-3 staff)

Serves 10-15 children (18 months - 30 months)

Preschool 167
(2 staff)

Serves 16 children (30 months - 4 years)

Kindergarten 158
Preschool 158
(3 staff)

Serves 24 children (3 - 5 year olds)
The Kindergarten is a full day JK-SK program that follows the Ministry of Education Kindergarten curriculum. 8-10 children.
The Preschool has 14-16 children.  

Internationally recognized learning laboratory

The ELC serves as a unique demonstration model of best practices in child care and early learning.  Staff endeavour to maintain excellent relationships with the families of the children through an active Parent Advisory Committee, social events and daily interaction with the parents.

The ELC is an active learning laboratory for students in the Early Childhood Studies' degree program.  Many students complete their field education experiences in the ELC. Students also come to the ELC to learn skills in observation and curriculum development.  The ELC accommodates visitors from all over the world and students from ECE diploma programs when possible. The ELC is a site for research in early childhood studies.

Inquiry, play based active learning

The central focus of the ELC programs is inquiry, play-based, active learning through children's interaction with well-planned environments and experiences. The planned curriculum consists of experiences and projects emerging from children's main inquiries and assessed developmental needs. 

Outdoor play and learning occurs in our own beautiful playground or in the quad. Children may also take supervised walks on the campus. The outdoor playground is another learning environment for the children and teachers plan meaningful learning opportunities to extend the children's knowledge of nature and themselves.  

The daily routines allow for a balance of indoor and outdoor play, small and large group activities, and an afternoon rest period as well as snacks and lunch. The success of the program is demonstrated by the children's ongoing developmental progress, joy of learning, the ease with which they adapt to the daily routines, their positive and engaging interactions with each other and with the teachers, and ongoing developmental progress.

The ELC is an inclusive learning setting. Children with special health, disabilities and/or developmental needs are fully included in our regular program, with a consultant from the Gerrard Resource Centre providing program support and consultation as needed.

Hours of operation

  • Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.