Observations, Research and Educational Tours

About the Child Study and Development Center 

The CSDC was established in 1929 as a demonstration teaching site for UNH students with the current facility opened in 1988. The center serves 122 children, aged 6 weeks to 6 years in 6 full-time classrooms and 3 part-time programs, including a full-day kindergarten program. Each year CSDC welcomes researchers, 100 interns, around 300 educators and other visitors, and  600 student observers who are completing class assignments from a variety of disciplines including psychology, education, nursing, communication sciences and disorders, nutrition, and occupational therapy. The CSDC is nationally accredited by NAEYC, licensed by the state of NH and known for its inquiry approach to early education. There are 20 full-time highly qualified staff and about 35 UNH students employed part-time as Teaching Assistants each semester.

Observations and Educational Tours:

  • All research, tours, and observations must be approved in advance by the CSDC Executive Director at csdc.info@unh.edu. Typically the UNH class instructor sends an initial email request with the details regarding the nature of the assignment and desired age-group, class number and name, number of students, and timing. If students are seeking permission separately they must include their instructor in the c.c. line of the email for verification.
  • The UNH IRB process requires that the Executive Director provide written approval directly for any research study involving human subjects. We encourage projects faculty and student research, including the piloting of research methods. The researcher should email the complete IRB proposal to lisa.ranfos@unh.edu. Approval is dependent on available spaces, for data collection, the number of other projects in process, and alignment with CSDC mission.
  • Once approval is granted, class sign-up sheets/roster, informed consent forms and introductory letter (if required) are supplied by the instructor by email or fax to the CSDC Administrative Assistant.
  • If you need to collect informed consent forms from parents/guardians, please provide a minimum of 10 working days from when we receive the forms before data collection can proceed. 
  • Students should always check with their class instructor regarding any project information or changes; please do not call the center.
  • CSDC has a security system so be prepared that on your arrival you will need to call the main office at 862-2835 in order to be let into the building. You will then sign-in at the front office (first door on the left) in the binder under your specific class tab or research project. If this is your first visit the Administrative Assistant will take you to an observation booth or classroom. In order to gain access to the observation booth you must have a photo ID on hand to exchange for an access card. Visitors use the visitor sign-in book.
  • If you have been approved to observe or collect data inside a classroom you will need to wear a “visitor” name tag and may be asked to show a picture I.D.
  • Observation booths are not one-way mirrors; you will need to be quiet, don’t engage the children, and do not turn on the light. Some booths have blinds, you may adjust the blinds to improve your view but please do not draw them.
  • You will find photos of each child, along with age and first name in the booth for your use; there is also an internship book in each booth with information about the classroom.
  • Rooms have schedules but we can’t guarantee what children will be doing and where or whether a particular group will be at the center when you arrive: the center has children as first priority. You can call 862-2835 to check if there are any scheduled events. Please be prepared to be patient and flexible.

Instructors wishing to schedule observations for their courses

UNH faculty who wish to incorporate observations at the CSDC into their course curriculum are welcome to e-mail the Executive Director, Lisa Ranfos, with their inquiries.

  • Lisa.Ranfos@unh.edu
  • We request that inquiries are made at least one month prior to the date you wish your students to begin observing for scheduling purposes

In your e-mail, please provide the following information:

  1. The Title and Course Number of your class
  2. Your class roster
  3. Your class syllabus/details of the assignment
  4. The due date of the assignment
  5. The desired age-group

The Child Study and Development Center is located at 22 O'Kane Road, just past the cow barns off of Mast Road

Please make the following information available to your students by copying it into your syllabus, an e-mail, etc.

Students scheduling an observation

To schedule an observation, send an e-mail to the CSDC Administrative Assistant

  • Morgan.Collins@unh.edu
  • In the subject line please type: "CSDC Observation Request" with course name or number

In your e-mail, provide the following information:

  1. The date(s) you would like to observe (provide several options, if possible)
  2. The time you would like to observe (provide several options, if possible)
    • Please note that 11:00am – 3:00pm are not optimal observation times due to our lunch/nap schedule
    • Observations at the CSDC are best during the following times
      • 8:00 am – 11:00 am
      • 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  3. The purpose of the observation. If it is for a class, provide the course number and your professor's name
  4. Your preferred age-group
    • 0 infants
    • 1 year olds
    • 2 year olds
    • 3 year olds
    • 4-5 year olds

You can expect a confirmation of the scheduled visit within 2 working days
Site location:  22 O'Kane Road, Durham, NH 03824

Parking during your observation time is available along O'Kane Road. Note that parking in front of the building is reserved for parent pick-up and drop-off only. Note also that there is a CSDC staff only parking lot just past the building. 
Please do not park in front of the building or in the CSDC staff lot.
 

Observation Protocol

  • On the day of your visit/observation, call the office (603)862-2835 to get a code that will allow you access to our building
  • Report to the CSDC at your reserved observation time
  • Enter access code in main lobby - you will here a beep, then a click, and the door will unlock
  • Proceed to the front desk to sign in (first door on your left)
    • You must have your photo ID
    • Sign your name, course number, professors name, observation room number, time in, and time out
    • Obtain an Access Card and you will be directed to an observation booth
    • Hold Access Card up to black window on keypad to gain access to the room
  • When you complete your observation, return your Access Card to the front desk and sign out to retrieve your student ID

Observation Booth Rules

In general, be as unobtrusive as possible

  • In booths with screens, remember that you can hear the children but they can also hear you
  • Open & close observation room doors quietly
  • Turn off your cell phone or set it to silent mode before entering the observation booth
  • No Food or Drink. Eating/drinking is not permitted inside the observation booths. 
  • No photographing the children or teachers, please! If you require photos, please let the Administrative Assistant know
  • To maintain the confidentiality of CSDC families and staff, never use the names of children or staff when you discuss or write up an observation (initials or fictitious names are best)

Research 

After discussing research ideas with faculty, the following are required:

  • UNH students & faculty who wish to complete research at the CSDC should e-mail a complete IRB proposal to the Executive Director, Lisa Ranfos
  • Written confirmation and approval will be given by the Executive Director after review. 
    Approval is depenedent on available spaces, data collection, the number of other projects in process, and alignment with the CSDC mission.
  • E-mail or fax class sign-up sheets/roster, informed consent forms, and introductory letter (if required)  supplied by the instructor to the CSDC Administrative Assistant, Morgan.Collins@unh.edu
    fax: (603) 862-0291

If you need to collect informed consent forms from parents/guardians, please provide a minimum of 10 working days from when we receive the forms before data collection can proceed.


General Info

  • Students should always check with their class instructor regarding any project information or changes; please do not call the center
  • CSDC has a security system - upon arrival you will need to call the main office at 862-2835 to receive a code to allow access into the building. You will then sign-in at the front office (first door on the left) in the binder under your specific class tab or research project. If this is your first visit the Administrative Assistant will take you to an observation booth or classroom. In order to gain access to the observation booth you must have a photo ID on hand to exchange for an access card. Visitors use the visitor sign-in book.
  • If you have been approved to observe or collect data inside a classroom you will need to wear a “visitor” name tag and will be asked to show a picture I.D.
  • Observation booths are not one-way mirrors; we request that you are quiet, don’t engage the children, and do not turn on the light. Some booths have blinds; you may adjust the blinds to improve your view but please do not draw them.
  • You will find photos of each child, along with age and first name in the booth for your use; there is also an internship book in each booth with information about the classroom.
  • Rooms have schedules but we can’t guarantee what children will be doing and where or whether a particular group will be at the center when you arrive. You can call 862-2835 to check if there are any scheduled events. We appreciate your patience & flexibility.

Confidentiality:

  • Any written observations should include only date of birth and first name or initials; no other identifying information should be included.
  • Please do not talk about your observations outside of the specific class or project you are completing.
  • No photographs that include children’s faces are permitted unless prior permission is granted.
  • Other than observational data, only documentation specified in your informed consent is permitted.