Child Development Laboratories

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Teacher with globe

The Child Development Laboratories (CDL), in partnership with and under the direction of the Southern Region Early Childhood Programs (SRECP), offers pre-service teaching opportunities for Early Childhood students in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. CDL and SRECP have a long history of providing high-quality programming for young children and families in the Carbondale community region.

CDL is a highly valued facility on the campus of Southern Illinois University. It has served as a research and training facility on the campus of Southern Illinois University for over 50 years. Students in the School of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Education program take two practicum courses with the practical training experiences offered at CDL. The practical experience for enrolled students in C&I 318 is in the Prekindergarten classroom and the students in C&I 405 have their practical experience in the infant and toddler classrooms. C&I 495 students may be selected to experience their internship training at CDL. Student work study with clerical and teaching positions are also offered to SIU students at CDL.

CDL serves as an observation and research site for University faculty and students. These individuals represent many colleges and departments on the SIUC campus that access the facility to enhance their knowledge of child development and early childhood education.

CDL offers a classroom for infants between the ages of 6 weeks to approximately 15 months. The toddler classroom provides programming for children between the ages of 15 months and 36 months. The Prekindergarten classroom serves children 3-5 years of age. All classrooms are for five day enrollment. Morning, afternoon, or full day sessions are determined by the CDL staff and in partnership with families.

Highly-qualified teaching staff provide a research approved curriculum that offers group and individual learning opportunities for all children. The classroom locations within the University setting and the collaboration with SIU provides University supports for children and families with unique experiences and a foundation for life-long learning.

Programming offered to children and families includes:

The Prevention Initiative (0-3) classroom based programming that has a strong emphasis on parent involvement and child development with families to support parents in their parenting roles and offers infants and toddlers nurturing experiences to encourage their growth and development. The home based experience includes home visits that are conducted with families and community based group experiences that offer child and parent interactions. The center based experience at CDL offers full and half day classroom opportunities and personal visits with families.

The Parental Training Program (3-5) encourages parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teachers. The program focuses on parenting of children age three to five and offers resource support to Preschool for All classroom Teachers to promote and further the education of the family and their important role in the education of their child.

The Preschool for All Prekindergarten Program (3-5) offers rich developmentally appropriate classroom learning environments and personal visits for children age three to five. Half day and full day programs are offered in public school classrooms and CDL. Eligibility is determined through a developmental screening which includes important information shared by parents.

CDL follows the Department of Children and Families Services Licensing Regulations, the Illinois State Board of Education Early Childhood Block Grant Compliance Guidelines, the Illinois Early Learning Development and Standards, and the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three.

SRECP represent a partnership between the Illinois State Board of Education, nineteen public school districts, the Child Development Laboratory and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The programs offer high-quality early childhood and parent education opportunities to families with children ages birth to five in the southern Illinois counties of Franklin, Jackson, Perry and Randolph.