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Indiana University Northwest

Office of Marketing and Communications

IU Northwest announces that Child Care Center will close effective July 1

Increasing costs, low student use cited as contributing factors


Published: 

Media Contact

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications
981-4358
erikrose@iun.edu

Indiana University Northwest announced today its plan to close its on-campus Child Care Center effective July 1, 2012. Low student utilization and the need to reduce costs led to the decision, said Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harold Burtley.

“This is something we do reluctantly,” Burtley said in a statement.

“For 25 years, the Child Care Center has provided an affordable, high-quality child-care experience for students, employees and local residents who wanted it, and IU Northwest has been happy to serve that need.”

IU Northwest began offering child-care services to students, faculty and the community in 1987. The Center originally was located on the south side of campus in a house that had been donated to the university for that purpose. IU Northwest moved the operation to a new building at 35th Avenue and Washington Street in 2001, at a time when the Center’s growing enrollment made the larger space necessary.

In recent years, however, demand for campus child care has declined, even as the campus’s enrollment has increased by 25 percent since 2008.

This year, the Center serves 38 children, 28 of whom only attend part-time.

Burtley said that lack of demand for the service has resulted in a growing operating deficit for the facility. This year, operating costs for the Child Care Center will exceed revenue by an estimated $80,000.

Student activity fees fund much of that expense, he said.

“We are called upon by the State of Indiana and Indiana University to use the funds collected through student fees as responsibly and efficiently as possible,” said Burtley, adding that he had consulted with the IU Northwest Student Government Association about the decision. “We cannot continue to provide a large subsidy for a service that attracts relatively little student demand.”

The Center’s status and financial condition had been under review for the past two years, Burtley said, and its enrollment goals were not achieved.

The Child Care Center employs nine full- and part-time staff members; they were informed of the decision to close the Center on Monday afternoon. Parents of the enrolled students were notified this week.

The Center staff will assist client families in finding convenient alternate arrangements.

“There are not many students who will be affected by the closure, but we will work with those students to ensure that the loss of on-campus child care does not adversely impact their academic progress,” Burtley said.