Barnard Center for the Study of Child Development

The reimagining of Barnard College’s Center for the Study of Child Development (CSCD) co-locates research and collaboration, strengthens the CSCD’s mission to study the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional development of young children, supporting caregivers and the next generation of researchers.

Toddler Center Photo by James Ewing / JBSA

The CSCD’s new, more accessible 5,000 SF home integrates spaces for the Center for Toddler Development (Toddler Center), Cognitive Development Center, and Language Acquisition and Development Research Laboratory to strengthen relationships within the Psychology Department, support research efficiency, and foster connections to the larger academic community.

The classroom’s toddler-sized archway is often the first time some children experience a threshold designed specifically for their height.

For 50 years, the Toddler Center has served as a living laboratory for pre-school-aged children and researchers alike. The new CSCD nearly doubles the Toddler Center’s space, equipping researchers with state-of-the-art observation and testing spaces, and integrated A/V capability.


Child-sized doors and low play areas define space vertically as well as horizontally, creating moments of joy for all ages.

  • The observation room allows CSCD researchers and parents to observe toddlers without disturbing the class.

A palette of muted colors, warm wood, and varied textures of fabric, felt, and carpet provide a supportive and inviting environment for students, faculty, toddlers, caregivers, visitors, and the larger campus community. All materials were evaluated for their durability, longevity, and health impact on all occupants.

The multi-level fort is situated at the far end of the classroom, creating a destination that toddlers discover as they venture deeper into the room.
  • Photo of the material palette for Barnard's Center for the Study of CHild Development showing samples for paint, flooring, carpeting, and countertops
Student researcher reading with toddlers in the new Barnard Center for the Study of Child Development
Barnard Center for the Study of Child Development Opens
Photograph of a toddler and two adult teachers in a playroom
Barnard College CSCD in Buildings Magazine
Photo of two toddlers playing on a slide
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