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Institute of Child Development

Child with magnifying glass

Institute of Child Development

The Institute of Child Development has two major goals.  The first is to provide a developmentally appropriate environment for early childhood students to observe and interact with young children.  The second is to provide young children with the very best educational opportunities during the early childhood years.

The Institute is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. It is also an Oklahoma 3 Star Program, the highest quality ranking available.



Two children playing on a scooter

The Institute of Child Development opened in 1935, a reflection of the widespread interest of the time in promoting young children's development through nursery schools. The Institute was a division of the Department of Human Development, under the auspices of the School of Home Economics until the early 1980's, when the School of Home Economics closed. At that time, the Institute transferred to the Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, as part of the Early Childhood Education program within the College of Education.


Three children painting outside

At the Institute of Child Development we attempt to provide a quality early childhood education experience for your child.  We believe two major goals of early childhood education are to help children achieve autonomy and self-control through:

  • Self-selected center learning experiences and projects.
  • Encouraging children to be responsible for their personal needs, wants, actions and behaviors and examining the consequences of their actions.

We also seek to develop children's understanding of the physical characteristics of objects in their world.  In so doing, we hope to foster an understanding about the relationships among these objects.

The teacher's role at the Institute is to serve as a guide, a resource, and a facilitator for the child.  By this we mean that the teacher facilitates a child-centered environment by initiating activities and projects for children which are developmentally appropriate, purposeful, meaningful, and foster learning through self-selected play.  Children will learn best through a process of discovery, enabling them to build theories about how their world operates.  The teacher acts as a guide when she questions the child, encouraging him or her to think more deeply about a problem or situation.  The teacher acts as a resource person for children, offering suggestions as needed, yet encouraging children to develop ways for children to solve problems for themselves and to take responsibility for their actions.  We believe peer interactions are critical in helping children develop socially, creatively, physically, emotionally, and cognitively.  Through peer interactions children construct cognitive and social knowledge, acceptance of others, and an appreciation of individual/cultural differences.




Child holding art project

The Institute of Child Development offers these classes:

8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Two/Younger Three Year-Olds Monday and Wednesday

8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Two/Younger Three Year-Olds Tuesday and Thursday

8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Three Year-Olds Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 

8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Four Year-Olds Monday-Thursday or Monday- Friday

11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Extended Care Available Tuesday-Thursday for children three and up.

We welcome children of all backgrounds and abilities at our school.  We have a diverse population of children and we work closely with families and other professionals to provide an appropriate environment to meet each child's needs.

All pre-kindergarten age children (ages 2 - 4) are eligible to enroll.  Children who have reached kindergarten age, that is, five years old on September 1, are not eligible.

Application instructions:

  1. Print out application form.   
    Click here to print an application (PDF).  (Applications may also be picked up at the Institute of Child Development.)
  2. Complete application.
  3. Mail to:
    Institute of Child Development
    820 Van Vleet Oval, Room 100
    Norman, OK 73019

This application is required for all children in order for them to be included in the enrollment consideration for the following school year.  Applications will remain on file until your child is no longer eligible for our program.

We begin annual enrollment in the spring for the following fall semester.

Family Services, Support & Parenting Resources

Education, Advocacy & No Child Left Behind Information

Educational Games and Activities

Assistant Infant/Toddler Teacher (PDF)
For best consideration, apply by March 20, 2023

Lead Infant/Toddler Teacher (PDF)
For best consideration, apply by March 20, 2023

The Institute of Child Development has an OU Foundation account.  This money can be used for special projects, equipment, and tuition scholarships.   We want our program to be affordable and available to every family who wants to participate.  As we assess the needs of our program, we are looking at several projects. The playground is one area where we would like to add some new equipment and replace some well used items. Another area we would like to renew is our children’s library. Over the years, many books have had their pages turned by many budding new readers!  If you are able, we would love for your family to consider donating to our foundation account.  Please follow the link below to donate to our program.  If you want your donation to go toward a specific project, please let us know by email, ( otherwise, the staff will determine how the money is used based on current needs.  Thank you for your support.

Click here to contribute

We sometimes receive requests for donation of items. Any of the following everyday supplies are always welcome!

  • Paper towels
  • Kleenex
  • Crayola washable crayons and markers-Jumbo size
  • Scotch tape
  • Masking tape (colors and plain)
  • Napkins
  • Reams of copy paper (colors and white)
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Chubby pencils
  • Elmer's School Glue
  • Glue sticks
  • Construction paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Bath towels
  • Balls all sizes, all textures
  • Nonfiction books with photographs (animals, weather, seasons, etc.)
  • Dry erase markers

Thank you for your support!

Physical Address
Institute of Child Development
2727 Asp Ave.
Norman, OK 73072

Mailing Address
Institute of Child Development
820 Van Vleet Oval, Room 100
Norman, OK 73019

Phone: (405) 325-1641
Fax: (405) 325-7146

Staff Contact
Becca Waggoner, Director

Kitty Sylvester, Assistant Director

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Please click below to download Parent Handbook.

Parent Handbook (PDF)



Meet the Teachers

Becca Waggoner

Becca Waggoner


Kitty Sylvester

Kitty Sylvester
Assistant Director
4's Teacher
Oak Class

Lianne Attar

Lianne Attar
3's Teacher
Willow Class

Katie Croom

Katie Croom
3's Teaching Assistant
Willow Class

Amanda Day

Amanda Day
2's/Younger 3's Teacher
Redbud Class

Eliana Massing

Eliana Massing
2-3's Teaching Assistant
Redbud Class