Child Development Center

Do you plan a career working with young children? Perhaps you have a young child in need of safe, affordable care that is based on current research into children's intellectual, linguistic, creative, physical and social/emotional development. Welcome to the Child Development Center (CDC) Laboratory School. The CDC has served as a laboratory school for ENMU since 1949, not only for the childcare needs of the campus and community but also to provide college students with a research facility for those who study child development. The facility offers ENMU students the opportunity for observation and experience in a program that provides each child:

  • An environment responsive to individual needs and interests as well as to each child's physical, emotional, social and cognitive development stages
  • Appreciation for his or her own culture and language as well as the cultures and languages of others
  • Experiences in thinking independently and solving problems
  • A setting to interact in a positive, non-competitive atmosphere with peers and adults
  • Opportunities to develop foundational skills in language and math plus experiences in social studies, science, fine arts and physical education

General Information

Our facility is located on the ENMU-Portales campus at the corner of U.S. Highway 70 and S Ave N. We operate during the fall, spring and summer terms, Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center observes the holidays and semester breaks observed by ENMU students.


The CDC enrolls 42 children ages 2 to 5 on a first-come, first-served basis. Once enrolled, the children may continue in the program until they are kindergarten age eligible (five years old by Sept. 1). All children enrolled in our 3- and 4-year-old preschool rooms must be toilet trained upon entrance. Children enrolled in our 2-year-old toddler room do not need to be toilet trained upon entrance.

CDC Waitlist Application

Family Involvement

Family involvement is vital to the success of any early childhood program. We offer written and electronic contact, family meetings and family night activities. The master teachers meet individually with families a minimum of once per semester to discuss the child's progress. Families are invited to participate in the classroom as volunteers and may be involved on a regular basis or may participate as special visitors. Families also participate in special activities such as field trips and celebrations.

The center has an observation room that is open at all times to family members and also to selected classes and visiting groups that have an interest in early childhood education or child development. Video surveillance of the CDC is continuous and is linked to the ENMU Department of Public Safety, providing an additional level of safety and security for children, families and staff.

Child Development Center
ENMU Station 26
1500 S Ave K
Portales, NM 88130
800.FOR.ENMU (800.367.3668)
Phone: 575.562.2805
Fax: 575.562.2568