About Us

The primary purpose of the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Child Development (CCD) is to provide high quality educational and care services to children 8 weeks to 5 years old and serve as an academic teaching and research facility for students and faculty across the university. 
The Center is dedicated to providing an environment that enhances the quality of life not only for the children enrolled, but for their families and for the USM community participants and other observers as well.  Enrollment of children regardless of race, ethnicity, or special needs addresses the practice of unconditional acceptance embraced by the Center as it provides loving care for the whole child.

The CCD operates on two campuses.  The Hattiesburg campus is located at 3404 Morningside Drive (on the northwest edge of USM’s Hattiesburg campus).  The Gulf Coast campus is located at 205 Leovy Avenue in Pass Christian (on the campus of Pass Christian Elementary).  The CCD provides interactive experiences for students majoring in Child and Family Studies through access to its full-day early care and education program for children ages 8 weeks to 5 years. Upon graduation, these students take the expertise gained through this experience into their careers as pre-K and kindergarten teachers in public and private schools, preschool teachers, infant/toddler childcare providers, directors of early childhood programs, and other family-related professions. The impact is far-reaching.

The program provides opportunities for research and study as well as training for students.  The programs for child participants are designed to enhance the development of the whole child through the implementation of an experiential, child-oriented curriculum comprehensive, child-centered curriculum.  Quality programming is achieved through the initiation of developmentally effective activities and positive child guidance techniques. The program design encourages families to participate in a learning environment for their children that fosters optimal child development and provides a laboratory setting in which the university community can pursue academic interests.

The Center for Child Development also provides a service to the community by providing high quality early care and education. The children of University students, staff, and faculty receive priority placement on the waiting list. Faculty and staff of the Pass Christian School District also receive priority on the waiting list for the Gulf Coast CCD.  The family is considered to be an integral component of positive early childhood experiences.  Parents are therefore welcomed and encouraged to be involved in the ongoing program at the Center.

The Hattiesburg campus of the Center for Child Development is accredited by the National Academy for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This status is afforded to approximately 10% of childcare centers in the United States.  As such, it serves as a model for childcare providers and programs in the area to observe and use as a guide in their own programming. 

*In keeping with the goal of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), these services include reasonably accommodating individuals with disabilities in order to integrate them into the program to the extent feasible, given each individual’s limitations.


Tuition and Classes


Infants and Toddlers under 32 months


Preschoolers between 32 months and 4 years


*All ages have a $100 annual registration fee