The Mills College Children's School was the first campus laboratory school on the West Coast. It opened in 1926 to provide students with opportunities to learn about child behavior and cognitive development. Today it provides an opportunity for Mills students to learn about progressive educational practices that focus on the whole child, including the social, emotional, academic, and physical aspects of education. The school offers programs for infants through fifth graders.
All students in the School of Education's Early Childhood Education Programs spend one to two semesters in the infant/toddler or preschool classrooms with infants from as young as five months old to preschoolers up to five years of age. Four K–5 classrooms in the elementary school also provide student teaching opportunities each semester. The classroom teachers closely mentor Mills students, helping them to develop reflective practices and an inquiry stance toward teaching and learning.
In the Children's School classrooms, Mills students observe developmentally, culturally, and linguistically responsive teaching, as well as a constructivist model of classroom learning and the integration of theory and practice.