Construction will begin this fall on a new Salt Lake Community College center to train child-care professionals and provide care for the children of students.

The new 7,248-square-foot lab will be used to train 35 new child-care providers annually and will offer child care for up to 100 youngsters of students each quarter.The new center will be named the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Early Childhood Development Lab School because of a $219,000 donation from the Eccles Foundation. Community college students will donate $80,000 in labor costs, but SLCC is still seeking $120,000 to cover the building's cost.

"The primary purpose of the center is to train early childhood care providers," said SLCC President O.D. Carnahan. "Of Utah's 90,000 preschool children of working mothers, only 17,000 are cared for in licensed facilities. As a result, there is a demand not just for day care, but for quality day care provided by reliable, trained child-care professionals."

Karen Gardner of the Eccles Foundation said in addition to training providers, the center will offer quality day care to students, many of whom are single mothers trying to escape the welfare cycle. "We are aware that the primary factor in escaping the `feminization of poverty' is the availability of quality child care."