Skip to main content

Admission Process

Prospective Families

We're so happy you're interested in the Early Childhood Laboratory and hope you'll join the ECHL family! Applications are accepted throughout the year and placed on a waitlist while we coordinate spot vacancy from pre-k II graduates and children moving up a classroom. Spots begin opening in June and typically continue through August.

Join the waitlist

The waitlist is a first-come, first-served process. The child cannot be placed on the waitlist prior to birth. Submission of a completed application (PDF) and $25 application fee will hold a child's place on the waitlist. At the end of the application process, you will be redirected to pay online through SFA's secure marketplace ECHL store.

What criteria might allow a child placement at the top of the waiting list?

  • Siblings of children currently attending the ECHL
  • Children of full-time SFA employees

Notification of an available spot

When you are next on the waiting list and we have a spot opening that matches your need, we will call to notify you of the upcoming availability and start date. You'll have 48 hours to accept or decline the placement.

I accept! What's next?

When you accept, you'll need to pay a $300 registration fee through our online marketplace store to secure the placement. Learn more about this fee on our Tuition and Fees page.

What if I miss the call?

Using the email address provided on your child's application, we also will email you. We will make four total attempts to reach you by phone and email.

If, after 72 hours we have not made contact with you, we will move your application to the bottom of the list. The next name on the waiting list will be contacted to fill the available spot.

How far in advance am I notified?

  • Standard summer enrollment: Notification of availability occurs approximately one month in advance of the available start date. 
  • Fall or spring enrollment: Attendance must begin within one week of spot becoming available.

Application renewals

All applications must be renewed in March to maintain their place on the waitlist.

Application renewal is not automatic. If you'd like to remain on the waitlist, you must visit the administrative office located inside the Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center to renew your application during the month of March. There is no fee to renew an application. 

Reapplying for enrollment

Applications that are not renewed will be voided and removed from the waitlist. Families who change their mind after choosing to not renew their application will need to submit a completed application and $25 application fee.



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

Texas Rising Star logo