SIC Early Childhood Expo Focuses on Children’s Mental Health

March 22, 2019

With an increased emphasis on children’s mental health, Dr. Diane King, Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education & Education Programs at Southeastern Illinois College, hosted an event at the college for over 125 early childhood education professionals and students Saturday, March 2.

Participants attended three workshops. “The Use of Conscious Discipline for Improvements in Mental Health” was presented by Paula Maloney, Class Coach/Education Coordinator for Wabash Area Development Inc. (WADI) Head Start. Phyllis Wood, Health Education at Egyptian Health Dept. presented on topic of “Catch onto Health!” Jacqueline Klossing, Egyptian Health Department and Dr. Matt Buckman, shared information about “Screening and Assessment in Early Childhood Education.”

The fifth annual Early Childhood Education Expo included more than 20 exhibitors spotlighting career and education opportunities in Illinois. Some of the exhibitors included Southern Illinois University Carbondale Early Childhood Program; John A. Logan College Early Childhood Program, Wabash Area Development Inc. Head Start and SIUC Head Start; Child and Family Connections - Wabash Ohio Valley Special Education District; Illinois Early Learning Project – UIUC Children’s Research Center, UIC Specialized Care for Children 0 -21, Southern Illinois Chapter of Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children (ILAEYC), Illinois Department of Transportation and Centerstone: Caregiver Connections.

Dr. Diane King, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education & Education programs at Southeastern Illinois College emphasized the importance of the event because it provides career and educational opportunities for ECE students, prospective students, as well as practitioners and professional working in Early Childhood programs that serve young children and their families.  Additionally, participants find out about current trends, political issues and best practices in the forefront of state policymaking and various funding opportunities. “Early Childhood Education and all things related to young children from child care to mental health to compensation are hot topics and on the national and state political front-burners in 2019” emphasized King.

Southeastern offers the ECE Associate in Applied Science degree in an online format which helps the working professional. Additionally, ECE courses can be taken as stand-alone courses to help those who need a specific number of semester hours in ECE. Hybrid classes are offered which help serve the needs of students who prefer the face to face format as well as for pre-service teachers and professionals because they do their clinical practice such as observations and teaching assignments in our Mary Jo Oldham Child Study Center on campus. SIC was recently ranked the #1 online community college in the state of Illinois by Affordable Colleges Online. Southeastern is ranked #19 in the nation by the Center of Online Education, as well as receiving recognition from the Aspen Institute as being in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the nation.

For more information on SIC’s early childhood education programs, including the online associate degree or Gateway Credentials, contact Dr. Diane King at King and her students can also be found on Facebook at and