Budget Concerns Force Spelman College to Close Its Early Child Development Center

Spelman College, the historically black educational institution for women in Atlanta, has announced that at the end of the current academic year it is closing the Marian Wright Edelman Child Development Center on campus due to budgetary restraints. The preschool, which was established in 1930, also served as a training center for parents; provided student teaching opportunities for Spelman undergraduates; and was a research laboratory for graduate students in education and psychology.

Spelman has been subsidizing the center for the past decade. It costs $840 per month for a student to attend the center’s preschool. But this cost is not competitive with other preschools in the area. As a result, the school, which has the capacity for 55 students, has enrollments this year of only 13 children. Spelman has been spending about $300,000 per year to keep the school operating.

But in a letter to the Spelman community, college president Beverly Daniel Tatum stated that “resources must now be directed to other critical needs” including financial aid to retain current Spelman students. President Tatum said that the college would work to find student teaching positions and research opportunities for Spelman students in early childhood education programs at other preschools in Atlanta.