The Center's history goes back over eighty years to a nursery school that was created as part of the curriculum of the New Jersey College for Women (which subsequently became the Douglass College for Women, which then became part of Rutgers University). The nursery school was funded initially by a grant from the Laura Spellman Rockefeller Foundation. Even in its earliest incarnation, the Center provided an opportunity for young children to receive an excellent early childhood education while at the same time offering college students the chance to learn about child development through hands-on experience.