By TYRA BAHNEY
In the past, the convenience of having a child daycare center on campus attracted many IUSB students with children. But not any more.
On May 31, Chancellor Terry L. Allison sent out a statement saying that the administration had decided to no longer rent the space between the Grill and the Administration Building to the Child Development Center.
“This was a difficult decision,” Allison said in his statement. “A contract renewal would have required the payment of significant rent for campus space which we believe made the situation financially unsustainable for child care center operators.”
Jennifer Long, the owner of the Child Development Center, notified her staff and the families who were enrolled, and one month later, parents, children and staff who used the on-campus childcare services said their final farewells.
Child Development Center clients had roughly two-and-a-half months to find other arrangements after Chancellor Allison’s announcement, before the fall semester began on August 21.
“I feel like the chancellor does not care about nontraditional students—like it was a slap-in-the-face to all the parents that work hard and try to better their lives and their kids’ lives,” said Brittany DeShone, a student whose four-year-old attended the Child Development Center.
DeShone feels that she did not have enough time to find good arrangements before the fall semester began.
“All the quality daycares have a waitlist,” said DeShone. “I didn’t know if I would be able to sign up for classes. I thought I was going to have to skip my semester completely.”
DeShone’s son now attends a daycare where he is one of 22 children in his classroom, according to DeShone. This is a substantially larger student-to-teacher ratio than he had while attending IUSB’s Child Development Center where the class sizes were smaller. She believes that having too many kids in a classroom compromises quality.
“He hates it,” said DeShone. “He’s being more aggressive than he ever was. There isn’t enough teachers to help him deal with his anger in appropriate ways.”
DeShone said that the IUSB Child Development Center helped her son become more independent by learning how to serve his own food, pour his own drinks and wash his own plates when they were done. “I think it made him feel proud of himself. Now he’s getting treated more like a little kid, and maybe that’s why he doesn’t like his new school—because they do everything for him. Kids want to be proud of what they can do.”
IUSB has no plans of opening another childcare center in the future, according to Allison’s statement.