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June 28, 2018
University of Cincinnati’s childcare center has partnered to take over the Early Childhood Center on campus, NKU announced Thursday. Without a bid, the center was slated to close in June.
UC’s Early Learning Center, a local non-profit which has operated for 25 years, applied with the state to assume ownership of the NKU childcare service. The center is expected to open in July.
NKU will continue to operate the Early Childhood Center, which served 54 students last academic year, until UC’s center receives approval from the state and the agreement is finalized.
Rates to use the center and a new name are still being considered.
Officials are working to make the transition as smooth as possible, Executive Director of the UC Early Learning Center Kelly Bigham said in a press release.
“The partnership with NKU is a great opportunity to serve families in northern Kentucky and continue high-quality care in a university setting,” Bigham said.
NKU officials notified the campus of the closure in spring and allowed time to search for alternative care, but have “remained vigilant” in searches to find child care.
“We kept looking for viable options and also ways to secure discounts at other child care facilities,” said Dan Nadler, vice president of Student Affairs. “This opportunity with UCELC developed as a result of those continued efforts and is a win-win for both sides. They have been looking to expand to serve more families in the area, and our center was in need of an operator.”
In 2015, NKU formed a task force to evaluate the Early Childhood Center that found expenses climbing and a staffing model that was “fiscally unsustainable”. NKU subsidized operating the center at roughly $1 million over five years, according to an email from NKU’s interim president Gerard St. Amand March 16.
“We are fortunate to have found a strong partner that has a long history of providing excellent childcare and early childhood learning on a university campus in our metropolitan area,” said St. Amand in the release Thursday.
“The UCELC has a long history of providing non-profit child care on UC’s campus,” Nadler said. “I’m confident we have a strong foundation to continue building the future of early childhood education here on NKU’s campus.”
For more information, visit the ECC website.