Program Overview

The Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory (UT Lab School) is a training and research facility at the University of Texas at Austin that serves children 18 months through 6 years of age. The program is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs (NAEYC).  The UT Lab School is also licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS).

The UT Lab School is a developmentally based program that strives to meet the needs of young children across all developmental domains. The program’s goal is to support children’s growth and development so that each child’s self-esteem is strengthened. Through a play-based, emergent curriculum, the program helps children feel good about themselves, embrace the process of learning, and become confident in their interactions with peers and adults.

The UT Lab School is staffed with faculty from the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS), with graduate degrees in child development, early childhood education, or related fields. Each Master Teacher has the assistance of graduate students in their classrooms. The UT Lab School serves as a laboratory for approximately 600 undergraduate students, from a variety of HDFS courses, per calendar year to gain observational skills and interaction techniques with young children. With the supervision of the Master Teachers, the students observe the children from the observation booths, interact with the children on a weekly basis, or participate in daily practicum experiences in the classroom.


Established in 1927, the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory was known as the Nursery School. The original location was in the former home of the president of the university, Dr. H.Y. Benedict, at 109 W. 26th Street. In 2002, the lab school moved to its current location, in the Sarah M. & Charles E. Seay Building (SEA). We enroll up to 108 children aged 18 months through 6 years of age.


The Lab School exists to help people understand, appreciate, and apply the science of child development.


The UT Lab School program is designed to meet the individual growth needs of each child. Each teacher works cooperatively with families, students, and other faculty members to determine the child’s level of development, needs, and interests.

The goals of the UT Lab School are:

  1. To provide a setting in which university students may observe, participate, and study children under the supervision of trained teachers.
  2. To provide a facility for research in human development and family relationships at The University of Texas at Austin.
  3. To serve as a model program of high quality care of young children to the community.
  4. To provide young children with an enriching and developmentally appropriate early learning opportunity.
  5. To promote among parents a greater understanding of their child’s growth and development.


Our play-based and hands-on discovery oriented program is designed to meet the individual needs of the children and reflect their emerging interests while supporting their mastery of new abilities. Children develop self-esteem, self-control and the skills to become effective problem-solvers through developmentally appropriate activities designed to enhance the basic processes necessary for learning.