The Children's Place


"Play is the work of the child." Maria Montessori

The Children’s Place is a laboratory preschool. The preschool program is an integral part of the Introduction to Early Childhood and Early Childhood Educations and Careers courses at Conard High School. The Conard students are student teachers working with the children under the supervision of Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, Kimberly Deep-McNamara. The classroom is set up in the format of a preschool classroom and includes areas like Dramatic Play, Book Nook, Writing and Art area name a few. There is a large enclosed courtyard area for outside play. An observation room is available for parents and students to note learning styles and interaction of the children and teachers.

Introduction to Early Childhood

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12 
Prerequisite: None

In this course students will learn about prenatal development and care through infancy and toddler-hood. Topics include pregnancy, milestones, patterns of child development, and influences of heredity and environment on the developing child. Students taking this course will develop a greater understanding and insight into a child's behavior. Students will operate an authentic laboratory preschool which will provide opportunities to observe and teach children from the community. This course is appropriate for all Family & Consumer Sciences students and is especially relevant for those who have a career interest in education, child care, medicine, social work and/or law.

Early Childhood Careers & Education

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Introduction to Early Childhood

Students in this course will build upon the concepts covered in Introduction to Early Childhood. This careers and education course allows students to follow the development of the child through the preschool years by studying the theories and practices of childcare and preschool education. Other topics may include health and safety, proper nutrition, family challenges, and special needs. This course exposes students to a variety of teaching approaches designed to stimulate the young child in the student run laboratory preschool. Students will explore careers related to children and their care.

Student Video Statement

Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour


Who does the preschool serve?

West Hartford children who live in the Conard district who are 2 ½ to 4 ½ years old. Each toddler and preschooler is assigned to a Conard student as a primary caregiver for each of the class periods which occur during the preschool day.


The preschool meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Fall semester generally begins in early October and concludes in late December. Exact dates and time are dependent on the high school schedule.

Daily Lessons

Curriculum is developmentally appropriate and connects to the West Hartford expectations for Kindergarten. The Early Childhood students will plan and facilitate lessons that encourage physical, intellectual, emotional and social development in fun, engaging ways. Class size is limited to 20 children to ensure adequate individual and cooperative experiences for each child.


Cost is minimal – designed to cover basic materials for activities and a nutritious snack. The tuition for is $100.00 per semester or $180.00 per semester if two children are attending from the same family.


There are spots available. If you would like to enroll your child, send an email to:

Please include the following in your email:

  • Your first and last name
  • Child's first and last name
  • Child's date of birth
  • The semester and year you would like to enroll your child