UAH ELC will open with a "full house" this fall


The UAH Early Learning Center will open on Monday, Aug. 7.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville's (UAH) Early Learning Center will begin the fall semester with a full house.

"It is wonderful to have such growth in our center. We anticipate close to 200 children in the ELC when we open our doors on Monday, Aug. 7.  This year, I plan to focus our growth internally with increasing the quality of education provided by each program in our building," said Deana Aumalis, Director of the Early Learning Center (ELC). 

Open House/Parent Orientation for the ELC will be Thursday, Aug. 3. Two sessions will be offered: 3 p.m., to 3:30 p.m., in the library, Meet the Teacher/Open House to follow until 4:15 p.m., and 4:30 p.m., to 5 p.m., Parent Orientation in the library, Meet the Teacher/Open House to follow until 5:45 p.m. Head Start Parent Orientation from 2 p.m., to 2:45 p.m., in the library. Also, the Office of School Readiness (OSR) First Class Four Year Old Classrooms, 6 p.m., to 6:30 p.m., Parent Orientation in the library, and Meet the Teacher/Open House to follow until 7:15 p.m.

Aumalis said ELC classrooms for ages six months to three years fill quickly, but the center gained openings in the four year old classrooms, due to increased state funding. "Children must be four years old by Friday, Sept. 1, and can not be five years old. We do have a limited number of openings in our older three year old room and four to six year old room, both are RISE Model Inclusion Classrooms." Several UAH faculty and staff members have children enrolled in various educational programs at the ELC.

While the ELC is operating pretty much at full capacity, Aumalis said there are no plans for expansion and children are not accepted on an emergency basis. "The ELC must maintain teacher to child ratios that are set by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (ADHR) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We will have a total enrollment within the ELC of close to 200 children between various community programs ages six months to six years."

Aumalis said when parents inquire about openings at the ELC, they will be asked to fill out a Waiting List Application ( and pay a deposit of $25. Should an opening become available during the 2017-18 school year, UAH ELC staff will contact parents and the deposit can be applied to the yearly $50 application/registration fee.

"The RISE Model Inclusion classrooms (50:50 ratio of children with and without special needs) have highly qualified teacher's with degrees in education and a classroom assistant with early childhood experience," Aumalis noted. "Our student to teacher ratios are below what is recommended by ADHR and NAEYC. At the ELC, we follow the Creative Curriculum which is child centered with planned, intentional adult-child interactions which are based on a central theme. We have language activities embedded through out the day and designated story time twice a day.

"There is a gross motor/outdoor play time, fine motor activities embedded into center programs, small group learning opportunities and large group experiences. The daily schedule also includes an afternoon nap. The ELC serves breakfast, a hot lunch and snack daily to all children enrolled. ELC staff members will work with families who have children with allergies or who are on specific diets," Aumalis said.

Additionally, children in the RISE Model Classrooms, PALS Program and First Class Pre-K rooms are provided integrated Speech Therapy, Music Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. PALS Program students also receive individualized Behavior Therapy.

Additional community programs associated with the UAH ELC include:



Deana Aumalis