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Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Child Development Laboratories. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Child Development Laboratories.

Historical Note:

The Child Development Laboratories was formed in 1953 as an observation and research site for University faculty and students, under the auspices of the Home Economics Department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  It initially opened with an enrollment of twelve children in the 2-1/2 to 4 year age group.  In the 1960's to the 1980's the CDL was was operated by the Home and Family Department, eventually falling under the umbrella of the Curriculum and Instruction Department.

The primary goal of the Child Development Laboratories is to provide quality education and training for students majoring in Early Childhood Education, while enhancing the field of child development through research.  It offers high quality childcare and preschool services for children from six weeks through six years of age.  Quality care is delivered through a curriculum designed to provide sound emotional, social, physical and intellectual growth and development.

By 2015, the CDL was facing both declining enrollment of children and a decline in the number of SIU students studying early childhood education.  The University decided to suspend operations at the CDL, beginning with the Fall Semester of 2015.  In August 2015, the CDL was reformed under the umbrella of the Southern Region Early Childhood Programs, with Melissa Viernow being named Director of the Child Development Laboratories.


"Child Development Laboratories," Southern Illinois University Department of Curriculum and Instruction, (accessed September 21, 2018).

Child Development Laboratories records, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Note Author: Tony Bittle

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