Community Services

Harris Fellowship in Child Development and Early Childhood Education

This well-established program is a collaboration between the Yale Child Study Center Section on Child Development and the Calvin Hill Day Care Center of New Haven. Harris Fellows work and study here with great success. We again anticipate fellowship openings for August 2009.

The fellowship represents a unique partnership between a well-established model early childhood education program and a clinical department of child psychiatry with a special focus on early childhood. The fellowship blends educational and clinical perspectives on working with young children. In contrast to other more traditional early childhood education training programs, this initiative is not simply a "placement" in two training institutions in which the trainee spends an allotted amount of time in specified activities or a few hours a day in a classroom. The Calvin Hill training model involves the trainee in every aspect of the early childhood curriculum; trainees truly become a part of the day to day life of the program. They work side by side with the master teachers and are an integral part of the teaching team. They learn the responsibility of providing a creative and interesting environment and curriculum for young children and are part of a community in which teachers and families work together. Similarly, the Child Study Center model emphasizes direct supervision by senior clinicians who work in community programs as well as with individual children.

Through this collaboration of educators and clinicians, the fellows will learn about the wide range of adaptive (and maladaptive) behavior and development. While developing an understanding of how broad and flexible is the definition of normal, trainees will also have the opportunity to learn about early childhood disorders and abnormal development. Through this exposure, they will become familiar with the processes of clinical referrals, diagnostic assessment, how clinicians think about the behaviors of children in groups, the differences between an educational and a therapeutic intervention, and models for working with children in an educational setting.

The curriculum for this fellowship will include both direct supervised experiences and informal reflective meetings with mentor teachers and clinicians with an emphasis on observation and developing participation as a member of an early childhood teaching team. Through direct experience, supervision, and coursework, fellows will integrate the theoretical and the practical. They will develop a theoretical base in child development and become more sensitive and careful observers of young children.

Successful candidates will come from two tracks -- one experienced educators and/or clinicians seeking an advanced practicum experience in early childhood education and the other, beginning trainees at the college graduate level but with minimal experience in child care and early childhood education. We anticipate that graduates of the fellowship will go on to other childcare settings to provide direct service and to provide leadership as teachers or work in other related fields such as pediatrics, social work or child psychology that strive to improve the quality of care for children.

We invite interested individuals to contact us for an application and further information. Requests for applications should be made to Susan Taddei, (203) 764-9350. Applications are due by Wednesday, March 4, 2009.

Carla Horwitz, Ed.D
Director, Calvin Hill Day Care Center & Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten
Lecturer, Yale Child Study Center

Linda Mayes, M.D.
Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics & Psychology
Coordinator, Early Childhood Programs in the Yale Child Study Center

Michele Goyette-Ewing, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist, Yale Child Study Center
Project Developer, Calvin Hill Board of Directors

Nancy Close, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Yale Child Study, Lecturer, Psychology
Calvin Hill Board President

Curriculum for the Harris Fellowship in Child Development and Early Childhood Education

Harris Fellows spend one year training at Yale's Calvin Hill Day Care Center and the Yale Child Study Center. Calvin Hill Day Care Center and the Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten are model, preschool educational programs for the children of Yale and New Haven community families. Calvin Hill was one of the first childcare programs in the nation accredited by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), and values diversity in its children and its staff. Families pay tuition based upon a sliding fee scale and the center is an inclusive community, serving around sixty children from a wide variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds. Both the Calvin Hill Day Care Center and the Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten provide a site for training and research. The programs aim to serve as a support for families, working closely with parents to meet the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of their children.

General Responsibilities of the Fellowship

  • Fellows have a teacher mentor at Calvin Hill and a clinical mentor at the Child Study Center. They regularly meet with their mentors for support, focusing on blending educational and clinical understandings of young children and families.
  • With their mentors, they set individual goals and have mid and end of year evaluations.
  • Fellows keep an ongoing journal, consisting of reflections about their experiences in the classroom at Calvin Hill, their coursework at the Child Study Center, lesson plans, and their particular interests in both early childhood education and clinical child development.

Responsibilities at Calvin Hill

  • Fellows work a full schedule at Calvin Hill and become integral members of the highly experienced teaching team. Under the supervision of their mentor, they gradually assume all the responsibilities of a teacher over the course of the year.
  • Fellows are involved in all aspects of the program including planning curriculum for large and small groups as well as individual children, leading activities, maintaining the classroom and materials, and participating in parent conferences. Their growing participation enables them to become immersed in and to share all aspects of the early childhood classroom environment.
  • Fellows attend occasional evening meetings, center sponsored events, and other professional workshops in the community.

Responsibilities at the Yale Child Study Center

  • During the first semester, fellows participate in the seminar, "The Inner Life of the Child." This seminar focuses on understanding the emotional development of young children and their ability to express their inner strivings, conflicts and feelings through their play. This seminar is clinically focused and allows fellows to increase the depth of their understanding of social and emotional development.
  • During the second semester, fellows participate in the Clinical Child Development seminar at the Yale Child Study Center. This seminar explores issues of child development, child psychopathology, and clinical evaluation and interventions with young children and their families. Seminar members observe senior clinicians conducting developmental assessments and participate in the ongoing discussion of diagnostic formulations. Relevant readings are assigned throughout the seminar.
  • Depending on the fellows' preparation and background, they may also have the opportunity to participate in one or two ongoing early childhood seminars including "Child Development" and "Early Childhood Methods," as well as meetings of the Young Child Team where current clinical case material is discussed.

Fellowship Stipend and Benefits

  • The Fellowship begins in August 2009 and ends in August 2010. Fellows receive a one-year stipend of $14,000. Checks are issued monthly beginning at the end of September.
  • Full health coverage is provided through the Yale Health Plan. Health Plan application forms must be submitted in August.


  • Housing is not provided as part of the fellowship but affordable apartments are available in the Calvin Hill area.

Applicant Requirements

  • Applicants should have some previous experiences with children (especially young children) in an actual classroom setting, babysitting, or camp counseling.
  • A background in early childhood education or college course work in early childhood education and/or developmental psychology is preferred. Applicants should be interested in issues of childcare, early childhood education and advocacy on behalf of young children.
  • Applicants must have maturity and flexibility in working with young children. They must be able to interact sensitively, tactfully, respectfully and warmly with young children and their parents. They must be able to work as a member of a team of teachers.
  • Reliability and responsibility are essential, as the fellows will be counted on as members of the teaching staff. They must have a good prior record of attendance and punctuality.
  • Harris Fellowship Application

Additional Information

  • Visit the website for more information about the Harris Fellowship and to read the reflections of past fellows.