Learning and Belonging (LAB) Preschool

LAB Preschool - University of Montana
Photo by Jamie Lynn Photography


About Us

The Learning and Belonging (LAB) Preschool is a nationally accredited, multi-age early childhood program that invites children of all abilities and their families to participate in a caring community designed to promote lifelong learning and the joys of belonging. This model early childhood program is housed in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences and provides academic course support, resources, mentoring, and key practicum learning experiences for students enrolled in teacher education and other degree programs at the University of Montana.

The LAB Preschool offers morning and afternoon sessions during the academic year. Small class sizes and high adult-to-child ratios provide individualized education experiences available to all children between the ages of 3-5 within the greater Missoula community. Families pay an annual tuition that is based on the market rate for local early care and education programs. Those receiving Best Beginnings scholarships through Child Care Resources are encouraged to apply.

Parent Handbook

The Learning and Belonging Preschool was recently featured in the UM Internship Services Employer Spotlight!
Read more about it, HERE.

LAB Preschool Expansion




The Learning and Belonging Preschool, along with the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education & Human Sciences, is undergoing some exciting changes! We are currently in the process of renovating and expanding our facility to be able to provide more the great services and environments you and the Missoula community have come to expect. 

To learn more about the building expansion, please visit the College Building Expansion website. This will be updated with pertinent information and progress reports as we proceed with construction. 

Did You Know?

  • Cognitive, language, social and physical skills progress when children engage in play. Quality early childhood programs recognize this important component of education and facilitate play opportunities that lead to competent and confident minds.
  • Reading with young children is incredibly important. Sharing the joy of books fosters relationships, enhances knowledge, advances language development and encourages young readers and writers.
  • Preschool age children learn best when they feel safe, when learning activities reflect their individual interests, and when they have opportunity to investigate, create and play.
  • High quality preschool programs value relationships and foster a sense of community where children, families and teachers grow and learn together.
  • Supervised field experiences are essential for preparing future teachers. Early childhood classrooms that model best practice teaching strategies serve as important learning environments for young children and teacher candidates alike.