UNL Child Care is No More

By: Mr. Wilson on January 31, 2007
After years of trying to find a permanent location for it, the UNL Child Care Center is getting booted from its temporary location at the YWCA. The Center has to be out by May 31, but UNL is closing it April 27. Chancellor Perlman addressed the issue in a letter to the UNL community:
Dear Colleagues, One of the biggest disappointments I've had as Chancellor has been our inability to secure an on-campus child care center. It was particularly discouraging to me, and I know to many of you, when the cost estimates for Whittier North escalated and that plan had to be put on hold. Now, to add to our difficulties, the YWCA is exercising its option to terminate our lease to use its space for our current child care center, effective May 31, and we will close the university child care center April 27. We have looked at every option available to us to no avail. We examined several potential "temporary" sites but it would require such a significant investment in funds that "temporary" would become "permanent" and the result would not be an on-campus child care that would serve our community. Thus I am afraid we are taking a step backward and next year we will have no university child care program beyond the Ruth Staples Laboratory. I can only give you assurance that we continue to work hard on this project and I remain hopeful that we will soon be able to address Whittier North and will have a center that will be exceptional. I should indicate that I have also changed my view on the nature of the child care center we should be working toward. Initially I thought that outsourcing to a national provider would be the best option. The costs of doing so, however, even with a university subsidy in providing the physical space, would have placed the program at a very high cost for parents. Our goal is to build a program and a curriculum that will provide both quality care and a quality development program. This is the path we are pursuing. I do apologize to those of you who have depended on the center at the YWCA, and express my gratitude to the loyal patrons of the center and especially to the employee caregivers. The YWCA will continue to operate a child care center which will be available to members of the university community, and we have assured patrons we will do everything we can to assist parents who have used the child care center in finding suitable care for their families. We also will do our best to provide a transition for affected UNL employees of the center in finding new positions, either at the university or in the community. I am thankful and appreciative of the dedication that our child care staff and students have provided the children. For now, we will continue our efforts to find a permanent solution. Harvey


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