About 4-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K)

4-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K)

The UW Child Development Lab is an approved community partnering site with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) to provide 4-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K) at our Linden Drive location.
Requirements for 4K

  • Children must be 4 years of age on or before September 1st to be eligible for enrollment in the 4K program.
  • Currently enrolled Child Development Lab families have priority for 4K openings. Any additional, unfilled openings are available to community members via our lottery process. (UW affiliation is not a requirement for CDL enrollment.)

The 4K Program
The Child Development Lab has three 4K classrooms. Two of the 4k classrooms have 18-21 children with mixed age groupings, ranging from 3 to 5 years. One classroom has 14 children with a mixed age group ranging from 3-5 years. Generally, about half (7-10 children in each mixed age group) are in the 4K program. Each classroom has one or two licensed 4K teachers in addition to their other supporting staff.
The Child Development Lab’s 4k program takes place five days per week during the morning from 9:00-11:30 a.m. Children at the Child Development Lab receive the added benefits of extended learning opportunities with our 7:30-5:30  M-F schedule. Our schedule minimizes transitions which allow for more creative and in-depth exploration and learning experiences within our inquiry based curriculum.
The primary curriculum objective at the Child Development Lab is to use the process of “inquiry” in order to create a classroom culture that builds children’s confidence in their own abilities to Notice, Wonder, Explore, and Discover. When children have the opportunity to cultivate their own questions, they can develop an understanding of the world that is both deep and meaningful.
We accomplish this objective by:

  •  Providing classroom environments that are rich in opportunities for inquiry
  • Having well thought out classroom routines
  • Planning activities that are matched to children’s ability level along with providing opportunities to challenge them, while at the same time encouraging them to Notice, Wonder, Explore, and Discover

Similar to families in Public School-based 4k programs, families at the UW Child Development Lab receive Progress Reports for their child and participate in two parent-teacher conferences. In addition to this, classroom teachers also prepare individualized portfolios for children; documenting their growth in each of the developmental areas. Teachers meet with parents twice per year to share and review the child’s portfolio.
View the 4K Daily Schedule