U of M President Says School Will Postpone Closing Child Development Center

U of M President Says School Will Postpone Closing Child Development Center Photo: KSTP

February 23, 2018 04:36 PM

University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said the school will postpone a decision to close the university's Child Development Center, which provides day care for nearly 150 children.

Kaler announced the decision in a letter sent out Friday.

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RELATED: Opponents of Closing Child Development Center at U of M Organize and Petition

Faculty, staff and students at the school had spoken out against the administration's plan to close the center in the summer of 2019 after learning of it in a letter from school officials last month.

The closure would pave the way for an expansion of the Shirley G. Moore Lab School, which a university spokesperson has said needed new space.

But in Friday's letter, Kaler said the center will not be closed "until we have an alternative, or alternatives, in place to allow for a smooth transition for children and, potentially, for staff."

RELATED: U of M to Close Faculty, Staff Day Care

In his letter, Kaler outlined areas that will be explored as the school searches to provide childcare options for children of students, faculty and staff:

  • An assessment of the school's ability, either alone or through a partnership, to scale child care services to serve more families.
  • A cost model that would reduce and eventually eliminate a currently-required university subsidy.
  • Recognition of the role the Child Development Center serves in "allowing undergraduate students majoring in child development a convenient, easily accessible facility to complete their practicum requirements."

"I know this decision has caused stress to families," Kaler wrote of the move to close the center. "I apologize for that. I am committed to a consultative approach that will make use of the considerable skill set of the entire University community, including affected parents, and that will allow for a full exploration of all alternatives."
 

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Frank Rajkowski

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