CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale will suspend operations at its Child Development Laboratories at the end of the 2015 summer for financial reasons.
The CDL is a training center for SIUC students studying early childhood education. It has been part of the university since 1953.
The CDL also doubles as a daycare for students, staff, and faculty with children ages six weeks to six-years-old.
Declining enrollment at the center and SIUC students enrolled in the early childhood education program contributed to the decision to suspend the program said Keith Wilson, the dean of the College of Education and Human Services.
In 2009, 199 students were enrolled in the early childhood education program and by 2014 it was down to 115, according to Wilson.
Wilson said the fees from families of participating children do not cover the costs of operation.
“Continued budget uncertainty means that we cannot expect funding in the future in spite of the need for significant operational support and investment in physical improvements,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the program is well below capacity this summer. Only 21 students are enrolled in the program which accepts a maximum of 62 students. Wilson said there were 39 enrolled in the fall of 2014 and 37 in the spring of 2015.
Wilson said there are ample alternative training sites in the region.
“The college can fulfill its educational and research mission far more cost-effectively by suspending operations at CDL,” Wilson said, “While this is a difficult decision given the long history of CDL serving multiple generations in the community, we believe it is the most responsible option given our current needs and environment.”
The university may explore additional options in the future, but nothing is set in stone.
Families with children currently enrolled in the program will need to seek alternative childcare arraignments for the fall. CDL staff will be available to assist those families.