Read what some current and past families have had to say about the Preschool Lab:


We have two daughters at the Mineral Point Road location of the UW Preschool Lab – Ellie is almost four and a “Fox” (Preschool Room), and Caroline is almost two, and a “Owl” (Infant Room).  Because we had fall babies, and PSL enrolls new kids in a cohort in August each year, both started at a more standard commercial day care center, which I believe gives us a valuable perspective on how lucky we are to have spots at the PSL.   Our other day care center was high quality, and I have and will continue to recommended it to friends, but they were limited in what they could do with the standard state licensing 8-to-2 infant to teacher ratio. Things like getting outside, doing art projects, going on walks and field trips were challenging and rare accomplishments – and I can’t say that I can blame them.   If I were in charge if 4 infants, I’d be lucky to keep them fed and diapered, much less do anything else!

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Our experience at PSL was noticeably different from the first day Ellie enrolled.   The additional help from assistants and students, as well as a conscious decision to have fewer kids in each classroom, allows more one on one attention, and frees up hands to take kids on walks, and get outside almost every day, if not several times a day.  Most mornings our kids are so absorbed in the activities, sensory bins, or art projects that the teachers have out when we arrive, they are excited to go into the classroom, and goodbyes are a non-event.   Even when Caroline went though a phase where she struggled with drop off, the teachers worked with us to create a routine and structure to the morning that got us through this phase fairly quickly.

It’s not just the quantity of caregivers, but the quality too.  The PSL has a very dynamic combination of long time, experienced staff alongside younger, enthusiastic newer staff & students, which I believe is the best of both worlds.   There is a lot to be said for having someone on your caregiving team who has seen it all, and the kids thrive with that kind of consistency and calmness.   I will admit to having watched teachers resolve conflict, handle groups, redirect undesirable behavior or handle meltdowns….and co-opted many of those phrases and strategies for my own parenting.   Meanwhile, the school is consistently exposed to students who are studying the latest in early childhood learning literature, and the staff has access to researchers, faculty and continuing education through a high quality university program.   This combination is unique and I believe gives the school a completely different vibe that day care centers that either have long time staff unwilling to change or adapt…or more junior staff in constant turnover.

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When Caroline was born in December of 2011, Ellie had been at the PSL long enough that we had started to take these things for granted.   Sure, there are some daily annoyances – clothes with paint stains, shoes full of playground gravel, wet kids at pickup from water play, or the inevitable colds and fevers that come with little kids in child care.   Once we went back to having one kid who was inside all day, and to whom art projects were rare, it was crystal clear to me how lucky we were to have dirty, tired, busy kids.   We are grateful for the University’s commitment to campus child care, to early childhood education, and most of all to the incredibly talented staff at PSL – Mineral Point Road for taking such great care of our kids.

-Chris Lalande, parent at the former Mineral Point Road site and current Linden site (Mineral Point Road site is now closed)

Our child had a wonderful final year.  It’s the 7th year for our family at the PSL and we couldn’t have been happier.  The PSL is fantastic.  There is simply nothing better than seeing your child excited about going to school.  The Fox room was great this year.  We feel that our child had a great environment to play, learn and develop.  Mary and Katy make another great PSL team!  Thank you to all the staff- you are, of course, what makes the PSL so wonderful.  We will miss you all!

-Preschool Parent

We are very happy here; our child is thriving.  Love, love, love our teachers and Preschool Lab!  Keep up the great work.

-Toddler Parent

We’re extremely happy.  Maria in particular is just superb.  We’re thrilled with how much our kid loves the class.  You’re all very communicative, and we feel our daughter’s development and general happiness is greatly affected by coming to the PSL.  Thanks and keep it

-Infant Parent