The Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute’s Early Childhood Center (MPSI ECC) is nationally known and respected for its research and work in the area of child development. The MPSI ECC serves the children of students, faculty, staff and the greater metro Detroit area from 2 ½ -5 years old. Please feel free to call for additional information or tours of the facility.
MPSI ECC is located at 87 East Ferry on the Wayne State University campus. It is in the heart of the Detroit Cultural Center with easy access to the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Public Library and other cultural institutions.
The telephone number for MPSI ECC is 313-664-2533.
The MPSI ECC operates Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In the event of inclement weather, holidays and emergency closure, please click on the following link.
The goal of the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute Early Childhood Center (MPSI-ECC) is to provide a safe, nurturing, child-centered environment with a high-quality educational program that serves diverse children, families, student teachers, practicum students, and staff.
The COE-ECC and MPSI-ECC’s philosophical beliefs are based upon standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, knowledge of child development, theories of child behavior, and acceptable best practices for educating young children. Three important components of the program are:
• Understanding children's play and the teacher’s role in guiding and facilitating cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development through play.
• Building relationships with children and families through dialogue, understanding, and interactive experiences.
• Encouraging children to make decisions while learning and to understand how their decisions affect others.
Children are guided through teacher-planned, child-guided activities based on children’s interests. These activities enhance children’s skills in all areas of development.
Our philosophy is based on the following:
• All children have the right to be accepted, respected, and embraced as competent (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998).
• Children are continuous learners and learn best within the context of family, culture, and community (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997).
• Children construct knowledge by active participation with real materials and the environment (DeVries,1994).
• Play is essential in developing the cognitive skills of children (Smilansky, 1990).
• Focus on development of the “whole child” promotes social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development (Hendrick, 2001).
• Assessment of children should be on-going, reflective of children’s experiences, and occur within the context of daily classroom activities. (Bredekamp & Rosegrant, 1992).
• Children’s family/cultural backgrounds broaden the curriculum for all children (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997).
• Collaboration between families and teachers supports the development of the child and home-school relationships (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997).
• Continuous professional development of teaching staff promotes program quality (High Scope, 1998).
- These beliefs give purpose to our program and define our practice. -
The classroom is viewed as an extension of the program’s philosophy. Our goal is to provide an environment that is safe, accessible, interesting, child-centered, and reflective of diversity. The role of the adults in the environment is to reflect the philosophy of the program. They provide nurturance, guidance, and experiences to maximize children’s total development.
WSU faculty and graduate students are permitted supervised access to MPSI ECC for research purposes. MPSI ECC follows the research guidelines as outlined by Wayne State University. Please refer to the link RESEARCH POLICY- Program Goals, Facilities and Procedures for additional information.
The Executive Director has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and an Elementary Teaching Certificate with an Early Childhood Endorsement.
Center Directors have a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education or Educational Administration and an Elementary Teaching Certificate with an Early Childhood Endorsement.
Each preschool classroom is staffed by a Lead Teacher and an Assistant Teacher. Lead Teachers are certified in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement. Assistant Teachers have either a CDA or an Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood, Preschool Education or Child Development, or 120 clock-hours of documented, formal child care education offered by approved training organizations and approved by Michigan Department of Education staff.
Additionally, each center has Wayne State University student assistants and college work study students who assist either in the classroom or in the office.
Before hire, all staff must undergo a Department of Human Services clearance to insure they have not been accused of child abuse or neglect and a Michigan State Police ICHAT clearance to insure they have not been convicted of a crime.
Tuition Fees and Admissions Policy
There is a non-refundable registration fee of $50. The tuition is for preschoolers (2 ½ - 5 years of age) is $165 per week or $35 per day. Before a child can begin attending the ECC, the full Admissions process must be completed.