Operations to stop at SIU labs studying education since 1953

Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced Tuesday that its Child Development Laboratories will suspend operations at the end of the summer because of ongoing financial issues. 

The university says SIU students studying early childhood education have trained through the program since 1953.

SIU College of Education and Human Services Dean Keith Wilson said in Tuesday’s announcement that the school hasn’t had the resources to subsidize the CDL for a number of years. He said fees from the families of participating children don’t cover the costs of operation.

Wilson said uncertainty around funding means the school can’t expect future funding of the program, despite the need for it.

There’s also been a decline in enrollment of children in the CDL, as well as in the number of SIU students studying early childhood education, according to the university. Wilson said the number of children enrolled — 39 in the fall of 2014, 37 enrolled in the spring of 2015 and 21 in the summer of 2015 — is well below the capacity of 62.

Looking at SIU students studying early childhood education, Wilson said enrollment was 199 in 2009 and 115 in 2014. He said faculty research based at the CDL has also declined.

Wilson said that the university may look into an alternative model for the center. For now, the school is notifying families with children enrolled this summer and those hoping to in the fall that they’ll need to look for alternative child care. He said center staff will assist families as they can.

For more information, you can contact Cathy Mogharreban, associate dean for academic and student affairs at the College of Education and Human Services, at 618-453-7314.

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