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Serving eight children between the ages of two and 12 months, the teachers individualize each child's feeding, sleeping and diapering schedule.

Each of our classrooms has a dedicated lead teacher and assistant teacher. Children also are cared for by our teaching assistants.

Meet your lead teacher, Ms. Becca Gatwood

Becca Gatwood

Welcome to the infant room! My name is Becca Gatwood. I've been the lead infant teacher since 2016. While completing my education in 2014, I worked at the Early Childhood Laboratory as a teacher's assistant. I graduated from SFA in December 2014, earning a bachelor's degree in child development and family living. Upon my graduation, I briefly left the ECHL and joined the teaching team at GETCAP Head Start from 2014 to 2016. I've worked with young children since I was very young and could not imagine a better career.

I have twin daughters, Addyson and Brylee, who graduated from the SFA Charter School and are now attending Nacogdoches ISD. Addyson is extremely creative and dreams of working for NASA one day and becoming an astronaut. Brylee plays tournament travel softball year-round and one day wants to play college softball for Oklahoma State University and compete in the Olympics. In our free time, we enjoy taking our boat out on the lake, especially lakes we have never been to.

I'm very passionate about young children and cannot wait to learn and grow with your child. Welcome to the ECHL and infant room family!

Meet your assistant teacher, Ms. Samantha Barrow

Samantha Barrow

Hello families,

My name is Samantha Barrow and I'm the assistant teacher in the infant classroom. I'm so honored to be able to teach and care for the littlest students here at the Early Childhood Laboratory. I have a Level I child development associate credential and an associate degree in child and family development from Angelina College. I'm attending SFA to earn a bachelor's degree in human sciences with a concentration in human development and family studies. Before arriving at the ECHL in January 2021, I operated my own licensed childcare from October 2018 to December 2020. My husband, Brad, and I have three children: Tanner, Jacie and Jaxon. Jaxon is a student at the ECHL.

As a mom, I know how important trust and faith are to each parent whose child attends the ECHL. I strive to be worthy of that trust and faith. I want each of our ECHL parents to be completely involved in everything their child does — from their artwork to each milestone. It is my goal for every child who leaves my classroom to have a strong foundation for their future.

Welcome to the ECHL family!

Activities and development

Early Childhood Laboratory classrooms follow the Constructivist Theory approach. Our teachers develop outdoor lesson plans to correlate with weekly lesson plans that reinforce indoor learning and structure playtime to optimize learning. Using curriculum and assessments for guidance, design of the learning centers is based on the learning needs of each individual child.

Infants learn through sensory, exploration, cause and effect, and group activities such as stories and music.

Daily schedule

The infant room's daily schedule is very flexible.

Time Activity
7:10 to 8 a.m. Arrival, greeting
8 to 8:15 a.m. Floor play
8:15 to 9 a.m. Snacks, brush teeth, bottles
9 to 9:30 a.m. Diapering
9:30 to 9:45 a.m. Group time, music, floor play
9:45 to 10 a.m. Prepare for morning naps
10:45 to 11 a.m. Waking and preparation for lunch
11 a.m. to Noon Lunch and individual time
12:30 to 1 p.m. Diapering
1 to 2 p.m. Afternoon naps
2 to 2:20 p.m. Waking, snacks, bottles
2:25 to 3 p.m. Outside play
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Floor play, music
4:30 to 5:20 p.m. Diapering, walks, prepare for home

Stocking their cubby

Here's a quick checklist of items to keep in your child's classroom cubby:

  • Diapers
  • Formula/Milk/Breastmilk
  • Food (infants transitioning to food do not participate in the ECHL food services program.)
  • Lovey (small comfort item)
  • Two to three sets of season-appropriate clothing

We provide diaper wipes, burp cloths, bibs, naptime items (cot, pillow and blanket), toothbrush and water bottle (for infants 6+ months). 

Toys must stay at home. 

New families:

Bring three to four photos of family members for your child's scrapbook collage page.

Photo gallery of classroom, motor circle and playground


Our infant playground, with abundant shade, offers a variety of toys and activities for our scooters, crawlers and early walkers.



Early Childhood Laboratory
Staff directory

Physical Address:
Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center
2428 Raguet St.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6105, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

National Association for the Education of Young Children

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