A university fixture since the late 1940s and the first licensed college laboratory school in the state, the University of Louisiana at Monroe Child
Development Center, formerly located at 905 Filhiol Ave., will open in its
new location at 702 Cole Ave. on Sept. 4.
The center's primary purpose is as a clinical lab for family and consumer
science majors. Equally important, the center provides support to ULM's
faculty, staff, students, and alumni families, and when space permits, the
center also provides childcare for community members.
The center provides invaluable hands-on experience for ULM students, said
Emily Williamson, center director. "We're a laboratory, so we're a little
more educationally focused than your typical child care facility," she said. "Our students learn to become teachers and administrators. Typically, our
majors go into various related career fields, whether they teach at
Headstarts, assist in public schools, take social services positions or
operate their own child development centers."
The program has expanded the ages that it cares for, and in some cases, the
hours of operation. Now, there is an infant class, a toddler class, a pre-K
3, and a pre-K 4 opportunity. "In the past, the last two had been combined
into a multiage class, but we've been able to separate them," Williamson
The new building is much larger and designed specifically for a care facility, allowing for 40 children instead of the previous limit of 15. This
one will be camera-monitored, provide more privacy for breastfeeding
mothers, and offer observation areas for each classroom, where parents will
be able to visit any time to watch their child without disturbing the
current activity. The center also has a teacher resource room for staff,
where they will have access to an on-site professional library, of
particular assistance when they prepare their lesson plans.
Future plans call for a complete playground renovation, with one designed
specificaly for each age range.