The Dillon Child Study Center at St. Joseph's College was established in 1934 by former president Msgr. William T. Dillon. As one of the first campus laboratory preschools on the East Coast, the center affirmed the importance of the early childhood years in a young child’s development. To this day, it serves as a model and demonstration program for college students and professionals interested in the field of early childhood education.
Aware of the evolving needs of children, parents and professionals, the Dillon Center opened a program to serve young children with developmental delays in 1981. Approved by the New York State Department of Education, the program supports the unique needs of young children as they are integrated into early childhood classrooms. In 1998, the center opened a state approved preschool inclusion class, further adding to its adaptability to all children.
Valuing the family as the center of a young child’s life, a Parents with Toddlers group was formed in 1986 to give younger children an early play experience and to provide information and support for parents. Once a week, a small group of wonderfully energetic and inquisitive toddlers arrive with parents to play and enjoy the thrill of exploring their world and the wonder of relating to new friends.
From 1934 through the present day, teachers serve as adjunct faculty working with St. Joseph's students in the College’s child study program. The Dillon Center fields experienced teachers who help the Department of Child Study educate the college students in best practices. The center is a laboratory school that provides college students with a role model of the ideal preschool setting.