Frequently Asked Questions

About the School

Parent Handbook

You can download a pdf of the Parent Handbook by clicking this link

What does it mean that the school is a “laboratory school?” Will my child be in experiments?

The Ben & Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School is an academic laboratory within the Department of Human Development and Family Science. This means that in addition to providing high-quality education and care for your child, we also provide hands-on learning for Purdue students who are preparing to work with young children and families. Also, Purdue researchers from the HDFS department and other departments at Purdue conduct approved research studies with children and families enrolled in the preschool. Parents are always informed about all research projects. While we do encourage your participation in the research studies, it is strictly voluntary.

What does a typical day’s schedule look like? What do children learn?

We have shared our daily schedules and sample plans for each age level on the Classrooms page.

Does the Ben & Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School close during any special times of the year?

The school closes during university holidays. A schedule of the Purdue University holidays can be seen at (

The program closes for a one-week summer recess in August, a one-week winter recess at the end of December, and for three days per year for staff development meetings.

Emergency Closure Procedures

The Miller Child Development Laboratory School (MCDLS) on the campus of Purdue University recognizes the important service they provide to Purdue students, staff, and faculty. The center will make every effort to remain open during adverse weather. The following criteria will be used in deciding to close the childcare center in case of an emergency. The center will be closed if:

1. The Purdue University West Lafayette campus is closed.
2. A weather emergency is in effect for Tippecanoe County.
3. If Purdue University or the local public health authority recommends schools or child care centers close in response to an infectious disease outbreak or pandemic.

MCDLS may also close due to unforeseen circumstances. The Director, in consultation with the Department Head, will decide when it is in the best interest of the children to close the center. The center staff would remain until all children were picked up. Staff would be released as attendance numbers allow.

If an emergency closing of the center is necessitated by a problem with the physical facilities, weather, or any unforeseen circumstances, parents and legal guardians would be notified individually by telephone during the day or by the local radio and television stations. These include but are not limited to, WASK-AM (1450), WAZY (96.5), WBAA (920), or WLFI – TV Channel 18.

What does it mean that the program is “accredited?”

Accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC; shows that our program meets the highest available quality standards for early childhood programs in the United States. Accreditation is voluntary, and while all child care centers are licensed by the State of Indiana, only a small percentage have attained NAEYC Accreditation.

Accreditation means that teachers are well-educated in child development, have an appropriate and well-planned curriculum, follow all recommended health and safety practices, have recommended class sizes and teacher-child ratios, and meet many other standards. The school has been NAEYC accredited for many years.

Child Development

How do I know if my child’s development is normal?

The program screens each child for developmental delays every fall. We will contact you if questions about your child’s development arise when we do these screenings. Teachers also continually assess your child’s development and learning in all areas: cognitive, language, social, emotional, and physical. Teachers will give you a report about your child’s development two times each year, and you will have the opportunity to meet with a teacher and discuss your child. For more about the screening and assessment program, see our policy in our Parent Handbook, “Your Child’s Development and Learning: How Do We Plan?” For a good list of developmental milestones for children birth to 5 years, see the CDC’s web page “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” at

How do I know if my child will be ready for kindergarten?

Every kindergarten teacher is a little different in what he/she expects. Kindergarten teachers understand that 5-year-olds come in all shapes and sizes, with an infinite variety of interests and talents! If you know who your child’s kindergarten teacher will be, ask the teacher what is usually expected of children entering the class in the fall. Another good guide for parents can be found in the official Indiana academic standards for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. This gives you a specific idea about what the Indiana Department of Education (DOE) expects children to be learning before and during kindergarten. These are available at the DOE website at

My child takes a nap in the middle of the day at preschool, then I can’t get her to settle down for bedtime at 8:00 PM! Help!

For most children, it is important to have a stable daily routine for napping and bedtime. Try to adjust your schedule so that you can, at least most of the time, have a regular routine or ritual with your child, including a bedtime story or other time for comfort and snuggling. Be sure to discuss bedtime issues with your child’s teacher, so that each of you can understand the routine and how the child is reacting, both at home and school. Some adjustments in sleeping routines or schedules at home or school may be possible and helpful. For more about making bedtime work, go to “Stop Toddler Bedtime Battles” at


Private giving helps ensure the Ben & Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School continues to do a variety of things that it might not be able to do otherwise. Gifts can be used to fund special programs, child care scholarships, child care quality research, renovations, and new equipment for classrooms and playgrounds.

Gifts may be designated to one of the following funds:

  • General Gift Account for MCDLS – supports the greatest needs of the laboratory school.
  • Ben and Maxine Miller Endowed Fund for the Miller Child Development Laboratory School – established by Bennet R. Miller (BS, 1959, Management) and Maxine H. Miller (BS, 1959, Home Economics). Gifts made to this endowment will be reinvested with the annual interest providing financial support for families of preschool children who cannot afford to attend MCDLS without financial support.

We appreciate your generosity and continued support! Thank you!

For more information about giving, contact:

Director of Development
Stone Hall, Room 106
700 Mitch Daniels Blvd.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059
(765) 494-7890 or
(800) 535-7303