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FMU’s Center for the Child now accepting applications

FLORENCE – The Gail and Terry Richardson Center for the Child at Francis Marion University is accepting applications through March 31 for children ages four and younger. 

The center offers child care services to the children of students, faculty, staff and community members ages six weeks to five years old. 

It serves as a child development and evaluation clinic to train students, giving them firsthand experience in dealing with the small children it serves. In addition, the center is a state model for the dissemination of best practices in early childhood education. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Child Care Director Frances B. Roberts is encouraging members of the community to seek enrollment for their children who are infants through age four.              

“The Center is very unique,” Roberts said. “Parents who enroll their children can expect a state-of-the-art facility where their child's mental and physical health, social and emotional skills, language and cognition are nurtured and developed.” 

FMU’s School of Education and the Department of Psychology work jointly to improve the physical, academic, social, emotional and economic well-being of children and their families through the center. Students from the School of Education train through observational labs at the center allowing them to pull back the curtain and monitor the learning behaviors of children. The center will also have a clinic to diagnose and treat children experiencing developmental delays. 

“Francis Marion offers a unique training, research and service opportunity to the Pee Dee and the state by providing a laboratory school to train students in early childhood education, psychology, nursing and other disciplines,” said Psychology Professor John R. Hester, director of FMU’s Center for the Child. 

This 15,000 square-foot facility is located on a site near the Pee Dee Education Center on the campus of FMU.  The $3.5 million building includes a child-care wing of two infant rooms, two toddler rooms, two rooms for the three- and four-year-olds, and two rooms for four- and five-year-olds; an office area for psychology and education faculty members; a central lobby and library that  will function as a family waiting area; observation and assessment rooms; and an outdoor play area.

To learn more about enrollment, contact Roberts at (843) 661-1630 or visit the web site at


Last Published: March 11, 2009 11:09 AM
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