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Last modified: Tuesday, August 22, 2006

IU expands funding for Campus Child Care Services

August 22, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Funding increases for Indiana University Campus Child Care Services will enable the day care centers to expand the number of spaces for infant and toddler care and also move staff salaries closer to par with public school teachers.

As many as 38 additional spaces for infants and toddlers will be created with a $190,000 increase in base funding approved by Michael A. McRobbie, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at IU Bloomington.

McRobbie allocated another $132,730 in base funding to bring salaries of the centers' 23 staff members closer to those of public school teachers in Monroe County. Both allocations were from the Provost's Fund, which is used for critical needs on the Bloomington campus.

"Quality child care is an important recruitment tool for bringing faculty and staff to campus," McRobbie said. "The demand is growing, and we want to ensure that our faculty and staff can feel confident about the care that is available for their children while they focus their professional efforts on their work at the university."

IU operates three licensed and nationally accredited child care centers on the Bloomington campus, serving more than 200 families each year. Fees for full-time care range from $165 a week for pre-schoolers to $223 a week for infants.

Tim Dunnuck, coordinator of child care services, said quality of child care is directly related to both the quality and longevity of staff members.

"The funding for salary increases addresses both of these needs and will assure that the high quality of care we offer can continue," Dunnuck said. "Because the funding is being provided by the campus, we will not require a fee increase for parents."

The new funding will increase the centers' base starting salary from $22,900 to $26,900. All child care staff are required to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a child-related field. Most have bachelor's degrees in education, and many have master's degrees. Center directors have master's degrees in early childhood education.

Dunnuck said the first year's allocation of new money for infant care will primarily be used for renovations of additional space and acquisition of more equipment such as cribs and high chairs. Thereafter, the money will be used for the additional staff members needed to expand the service.

IU's child care centers currently have 18 slots for infants and toddlers. After the expansion is completed, Dunnuck hopes to have slots for as many as 57 infants and toddlers. The expansion project is expected to take six to 12 months to complete.