SF State News {University Communications}

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Children's Campus opens

March 3, 2009 -- Year-round childcare and early education is now available on campus at the newly dedicated Children's Campus. Located near the corner of Winston Drive and North State Drive, the new facility can accommodate up to 85 children between the ages of six months and five years. The state-licensed facility, which opened at the start of the spring semester, gives priority to the children of SF State faculty and staff, but neighborhood children may also enroll.

Photo of pre-school classroom at Children's Campus.

A pre-school classroom at Children's Campus.

The mission of Children's Campus is to offer positive childhood development. It also provides University faculty and students from a variety of disciplines with opportunities for research and experiential learning. Faculty and students in child development, nursing, psychology, special education, social work and kinesiology will have opportunities to observe early childhood behavior while not being seen or heard from observation rooms behind one-way glass. Students in these disciplines can serve internships as assistant teachers.

The facility is intended to be self-supporting. "Our goal is to provide affordable childcare to the campus community," said Janet Egiziano, associate director of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute, who chaired the committee that planned the center. "We also plan to apply for grants and be eligible for preschool subsidies."

In late 2007 a committee of faculty and staff from the College of Health and Human Services, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Associated Students Early Childhood Education Center, Gateway to Quality Program and the colleges of Education and Behavioral and Social Sciences started working with architects and consultants to design the building and develop Children's Campus programs. Among the environmentally green features of the factory-built modular structure are 13 tubular skylights, sensor-controlled lights and natural fiber cement siding.

The facility's two preschool classrooms were dedicated in honor of Kate Danforth and Carol Fields, faculty and co-directors of the former Child Study Center, who pioneered early childhood education teacher training on the SF State campus. A research room was dedicated to Professor of Psychology Thomas Spencer, founder of the Child Study Center at SF State.

Children's Campus is a program of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute and operates within the College of Health and Human Services. Director Byron Sigal and Program Manager Kelly Dotson lead the facility's staff. Sigal has 30 years of experience in early childhood education including 16 years as director of the University of California, San Francisco Child Development Center. Dotson has 15 years of experience in the field of early childhood education curriculum and teaching. An Advisory Board, whose members represent participating families, SF State faculty and staff, reviews proposals for faculty research involving direct contact with the children.

Largely following the University calendar, Children's Campus operates Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and is closed during full campus closures. It will also close one week prior to the summer program and one week prior to the beginning of the fall semester. For more information, visit http://childrenscampus.sfsu.edu or call (415) 405-4011.

-- Denize Springer


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