The College of Education and Human Development and the Provost’s Office have launched a process to bring together the current CDC and Lab School into a new, unified, research-based academic program within CEHD. This will advance steps announced by the president and provost in September 2018 that followed the review of recommendations from the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Child Care.



Integration expectations, process, and timeline

Q: What are the expectations and goals for the integration process?

The new program will integrate programs and operations of the existing Shirley G. Moore Lab School and those of the Child Development Center into a new unified research-based program within CEHD. This will be a full integration into a single unified program, with teachers, administrative staff and faculty working together.  

The new program will be a premier academic, unified research-based program that provides top-tier research and educational opportunities for University faculty and students. The program will provide state-of-the-art research and educational facilities; academic training for undergraduates and graduate students in Early Childhood Education; offer high-quality, evidence-based, accessible childcare for the campus community; and provide opportunities for community outreach and engagement through CEED. The program will incorporate existing Child Development Center and Lab School curricula.

Q: Why is this integration occurring?

The integration of the CDC and the Lab School advances steps announced by the president and provost in September 2018 that followed the review of recommendations from the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Child Care. Integrating the programs will build on the strengths of both programs while being academically grounded in premier programs for research and training in child development and early childhood education. 

The new CEHD unified, academically-based research, teaching, and outreach program provides a new physical location for the Lab School, which is integrating with the Child Development Center. The Lab School, currently housed within and part of the Institute of Child Development (ICD, a CEHD department), is a premier national leader. A new ICD building, to be constructed within the next 2.5 years, will no longer house the Lab School.

The Executive Vice President and Provost and CEHD Dean announced the one unified, academically based research based program last December 2018.

Q: Who is involved in the integration process?
A planning workgroup and an advisory team together will shape a plan for a new, unified, research-based program. These two teams will be jointly convened by CEHD Dean Jean Quam and Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson. 

The Integration Planning Workgroup will bring together representatives of key partners to develop a detailed plan for integrating programmatic and operational areas: the Child Development Center, Institute of Child Development and Shirley G. Moore Lab School, the Center for Early Education and Development, and the CEHD dean’s office, with the Provost’s Office engaged in a consultative role. The members include the directors of the Shirley G. Moore Lab School and the Child Development Center, staff and teachers from the Institute of Child Development and the CDC, and faculty in educational psychology, child development, and pediatric health. Three members of the workgroup served on the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Campus Childcare. 

The Parent-Faculty Advisory Team comprises parents, teachers, faculty, and staff of the CDC and Lab School. This team will serve as an input-and-feedback resource to the workgroup to help ensure that we achieve the goal of creating a new program that successfully incorporates the strengths of both existing programs. A web comment form will additionally provide opportunities for input and comments from the Lab School and CDC communities or members of the broader campus community.

Q: What is the charge to the Integration Planning Workgroup?

The Integration Planning Workgroup is asked to consider issues spanning all functional areas of the two existing programs and to submit a recommended plan for an integrated research-based academic program. The Workgroup will meet regularly and consult on an ongoing basis with the Parent-Faculty Advisory Team. The Workgroup will develop a unified mission and vision statement, articulate guiding values and goals for the new program, and offer recommendations for the integration of childcare schedules, curriculum, policies and procedures, tuition and budget, food service, staffing, enhanced research and academic programming in early childhood education, and community outreach and engagement. 

Q: How long will the integration process take?

Our best estimate is 18 to 24 months. This work will precede the actual integration of programs and operations of the two existing programs.

Q: Will the integrated program provide child care for the campus community, as the CDC has done?

Yes. As fully integrated with the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School, the program will primarily serve University faculty, staff, and students, but will also provide partial-day early childhood education for members of the broader local community.

Q: Who will make the decisions about how the programs and operations will be integrated?

CEHD Dean Jean Quam will approve an integration plan, in consultation with Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson and academic program leaders in the Institute of Child Development, after considering the recommendations submitted by the Lab School-CDC Planning Integration Workgroup.

Q: How will parents and staff be informed of progress in integration planning?

We will communicate with parents and staff during the integration process, and updates will be posted on the Lab School-CDC integration website unifiedprogram.umn.edu.

Q: How will the Provost’s Office continue be involved in the integration process?

The Provost’s Office will continue to be a consulting partner. Provost Hanson has appointed Kate Tyler, assistant to the provost, as a Provost’s Office liaison to the Integration Planning Workgroup. Kate will also serve as co-coordinator of the Parent-Faculty Advisory Team in collaboration with Rayla Allison, CEHD chief of operations.

Q: Is the University taking other steps related to childcare based on the report of the Provost’s Childcare Advisory Committee?

Separately and concurrently, the University also will phase in new childcare capacity on or near the Twin Cities campus through an RFP process involving private partners, with a priority on programming and curricula that align with quality criteria and guiding values recommended by the committee. 

Facility-related questions

Q: Where will the new unified, academic research-based program be housed?

The integrated program will be housed in in the current CDC location, which will be updated and expanded to serve as a state-of-the-art facility for research, education, and community engagement.

Q: What changes are planned to the existing building? 

The facility/building changes at the CDC current site include a renovated building and new addition to the east side of the current facility: expanded administrative, kitchen, lobby space, and multi-purpose room to accommodate the combined 240 children and updated research facilities. The building upgrades use part of the current contract parking lot. The building expansion and upgrades will not affect current playground space.  

Q: Will the CDC close for renovations? If so when?

University Services expects that renovations can be conducted without closing the CDC. The work is expected to begin in summer 2020 and to take approximately 12 months. Existing Lab school and CDC operations will remain separate and unchanged until the integration planning and facility renovation and addition are complete. We will take every precaution to ensure that programs and building access are not disrupted by construction activity and to ensure that construction does not pose safety concerns for children, parents, teachers, staff, and visitors. Efforts will be made to minimize any construction noise so that it does not interfere with existing programming.

Q: What will be in the new addition and link?

Building needs will be determined during the predesign process, aligned with needs for research, the early childhood education degree program, outreach, and childcare. The link between the current building and addition is expected to include lobby and reception space and public restrooms.

Q: What will occur during the renovation of existing CDC space?

The current facility will receive a “refresh,” including new flooring surfaces (tile, carpet), repainted walls, upgraded technology in classrooms and multipurpose rooms, and some improvements in the research and administrative space.

Q: When will the existing Lab School move to the CDC site?

The Lab School will move to the existing CDC site when building and renovation work is complete. While we don’t have an exact date yet, we anticipate that the new integrated program will launch in the fall of 2021.

Childcare enrollment, hours, and staffing

Q: If my child(ren) are currently enrolled in the Lab School or CDC, will they continue to be enrolled after the integration?

Yes, your child(ren) will continue to be enrolled until they leave to attend school.

Q: Will teachers and staff of the existing Lab School or CDC lose their jobs?

The new program will include all current Child Development Center and Shirley G. Moore Lab School teachers and staff unless they depart through normal attrition.

Q: Will the directors of the Lab School and the CDC continue in a leadership role?

Yes, both directors will continue in their leadership roles.

Q: Will the integrated program have the same number of slots for full-day childcare as are provided currently?

Yes, the same number of children will be served through full-day childcare and a partial-day program. The integrated program will provide full-day and part-time childcare for children from 3 months old to 5 years old. It will enroll no fewer children than are currently served in each of the existing programs.

Q. Will hours for child care change?

The hours will not change for full-time care for children from 3 months old to 5 years old. 

Q: Will children be taken off the CDC waitlist?

The waitlist will remain unchanged.

Q: Will children in the integrated program be participants in research studies? How will parents be informed if their child is a participant in a research study? 

The integrated program will be a research-based academic program that reflects and further enhances University strengths in child development and early childhood education. Parents will be informed as research studies are planned, and will have the opportunity to opt out of any study. Research studies will be supervised by faculty in accord with University policies and best practices for research with children. Valuable research and training have been conducted at the Shirley G. Moore Lab School and CDC over many decades, with parental consent.

Q: Will Lab School and CDC parent groups continue during integration? Will there be a parent group after integration takes place?

Yes. The two parent groups will merge as one parent’s group once physical integration occurs.

Q: What will be the curriculum for the Unified Program?

Both the half-day (Lab School) program and the full-day (CDC) program use emergent curriculum and will continue to do so in the Unified Program.

Q: Will the Lab School (half-day program) and CDC (full-day program) continue to offer scholarships and reduced tuition?

Yes. Both the full-day and half-day programs will continue to offer scholarships and reduced tuition to qualifying children in the programs.  And it is our hope to increase the number of scholarships and offer reduced tuition to even more students and families in the future through our fundraising efforts. 

Q:  Will the Lab School (half-day program) and the CDC (full-day program) teachers continue to teach the same children?

Yes, along with any new students. Current half-day teachers will continue to teach the same children and new children entering the half-day program when the Unified Program opens. Current full-day teachers will continue to teach the same children and new children entering the full day program when the Unified Program opens.

Q: Will the Lab School (half-day) program continue to be available to the broader community?

Yes. The half-day program will continue to be available to the broader local community in the Unified Program, just as it is now.

Q: How will the Unified Program adequately address the green space needs?

CEHD, program staff and teachers involved in the half-day program and full-day program treasure the green space currently available at each location. With that priority in mind, green space has been a priority during the pre-design process and will continue to be in the schematic design process.  Currently the Lab School has 30,000 s.f. of green space and the CDC has 35,000 s.f.   During the pre-design process the green space at the Unified Program site (1600 Rollins) was increased to 47,000 s.f.  

Q:  How will the half-day and full-day programs share the Unified Building green space?

During the Unified Program Planning Process the two program’s schedules will be reviewed for the best times of day for the half-day and full-day programs to be outside.  Additionally, during the schematic design, we will consider ways to  mitigate sound from the green space so those inside the building are not impacted.

Unified Program Executive Director search

This position has been filled.

Q: Where can I find the executive director job posting?

The posting for the executive director position is job posting number 335450 and applicants should apply online.

Q: What are the responsibilities of the executive director?

This position is classified as a Research Associate Professor/Professor contract faculty with a dual title as executive director of the Unified Program. This individual will bring expertise in a relevant academic field and advance research, in addition to being responsible for providing strategic and academic leadership for activities connecting the program to researchers across the college and University. This person will provide oversight for collaborative program planning and operations, working in collaboration with the program directors, teachers, and staff, and in ongoing consultation with parents.

Q: Why is this position important?

The University of Minnesota has been a leader in applied academic research for many decades, shaping our understanding of child development and early childhood education. The goal in bringing together the CDC and Lab School is to build on the strengths of both to create a premier academically grounded program of early childhood education to serve campus and community families. A faculty director will bring expertise in developing and guiding research, ensuring that it accords with expectations for excellence, aligns with best practices, and is thoughtfully and consultatively carried out within the early childhood programs serving children and families.

It is standard practice for a faculty member to oversee academically based programs and centers, and most laboratory schools across the country have faculty leadership. The namesake of Shirley G. Moore Lab School was a child development professor who served as director of the Lab School for 13 years (the college will continue to honor Shirley G. Moore in the new facility.)

Q: Will this position be based in CEHD?

Yes, this position will report to the CEHD dean and will also have an academic department home in CEHD.

Q: What will the roles be of the current directors of the CDC and The Lab School?

We will continue to look to the current directors for program leadership, supporting our goal of building on existing strengths as we bring the two programs together. Within the Unified Program, Ann (and Sarah) will directly oversee the full-day program and Sheila will direct the half-day program. The executive director will work with the program directors as a leadership team. Both directors will report to the executive director; teachers and staff will continue to report to their respective director.

Q: What is the plan for identifying or hiring this person?

The position has been posted on the U’s HR website (job posting number 335450), and CEHD will conduct a  national search with the expectation of having this faculty director onboard in the late spring or summer to play a role in unification planning and building completion. The CEHD dean will name a search committee for this position, and the search process will include opportunities for engagement by faculty, staff, teachers, and parents.

Q: Who do I contact with questions about the executive director position?

Inquiries should be directed to Rayla Allison, CEHD chief of operations, alli0069@umn.edu, 612-626-3256. If you know candidates who might be interested in this position, please share with them the job posting number 335450, and direct them to apply online.

The Unified Program is one initiative of the Provost’s Child Care Planning for the Twin Cities Campus.

Read Spring 2021 update.