Berkley Child and Family Development Center

The University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) was established in 1993. UMKC’s School of Education and an interdisciplinary team of experts worked together to develop a state-of-the-art early childhood school. Berkley is part of UMKC’s School of Education and serves as a learning laboratory for early childhood students. As a resource to others, Berkley enrolls children of UMKC employees, students, and the community. Building an equal relationship between family, child, and teacher is a cornerstone of our philosophy.


To set up a tour, please call 816-235-2600


Berkley welcomes their families to the 2016-2017 school year.  By clicking on this link you can view the process for how our teacher’s think of the environment as the third teacher. This is a slide show of our Roo Room and you will see a transformation over a three day period with Sr. Child Development Teachers Jessie Newman and Alyssa Morrow; the slide show details the importance of the “environment as the third teacher”.

What do we mean when we say “Environment as the Third Teacher?”

Throughout the history of early childhood education, numerous educators have viewed the environment as the third teacher, and therefore as having equal importance as the teacher. How is thinking about the environment as the third teacher beneficial? A well-designed environment can support and enhance all areas of children’s development and learning, just as a poorly planned environment can detract from overall development and learning.


How does the environment “teach” children?

It is difficult to think of the environment as more than an inanimate object, however, consideration of the work of Urie Bronfenbrenner can lend insight into how the environment can teach. In his work examining the interaction between children and their environments, Bronfenbrenner developed the concept of bi directionality, which states that the child impacts the environment, and is in turn impacted by the environment. Based on this, for every action there is a reaction, and it is the processing of this Environments should support learning through the senses. One of the foundational principles of early childhood education is that the senses play a large role in children’s development, and that a carefully designed environment supports children’s exploration through their senses.


Berkley Brochure

A Snapshot of 2015-2016 Curriculum at Berkley

Berkley Buzz, Fall 2016

UMKC Today story-UMKC Early Childhood Center Earns Accreditation

Fundamentals of the Berkley Approach poster

Roo Room


Upcoming Dates To Remember:

March 2017
• Friday, March 10th: PDD


April 2017
•Saturday, April 8th: Boogie with Berkley, more details to come
• Friday, April 14th: PDD
• Saturday, April 22nd: Nature Play: Take Childhood Back Mini-Conference


May 2017 (PDD is 3rd Friday of the month)
• Friday, May 19th: PDD
• Monday, May29th: Closed for Memorial Day