January 26, 2018: Next steps for Child Development Center closure

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As many of you know, the Child Development Center (CDC) is scheduled to close in eighteen months, that is, June 2019. Because the CDC is such a superb child care operation, with extraordinary staff, it is a true treasure for the families of the 140 children who are currently enrolled, and for the families and children who have been part of the CDC in the past. Families and staff who are directly affected by the news of the closing are anguished about this prospect, and others in the University community are deeply concerned as well. We need to decide together our next steps.

The difficult decision by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) to move toward closure of the CDC resulted from academic and capital planning for new and renovated facilities for the Institute of Child Development (ICD). The planning for the ICD then in turn required relocation of the Shirley Moore Laboratory School, which, like the ICD, is central to the research and teaching mission of CEHD. The upshot of all this was the difficult decision to utilize the existing facilities of the CDC as the new home of the Lab School and to discontinue the child care center that is currently housed there.

As the facilities plans were made for the ICD and the Lab School, and it became clear that the CEHD would no longer provide child care, a plan was also made to develop a request for proposals (RFP) to consider new child care options for the Twin Cities campus. Providing child care services is not the responsibility of one particular college and is not part of the mission of the College of Education and Human Development. We need to and will embrace a campus-wide discussion of options and best next steps for the University.

I will work with the Faculty Consultative Committee and the Senate Consultative Committee to convene an advisory group with representation of the range of interested parties — including CDC staff and parents who use or have used the CDC — and we’ll quickly develop mechanisms to gather suggestions and expertise that will help the campus plan next steps. This advisory group will be engaged throughout the process, including providing input on the RFP. CEHD will be involved with this, as will the other Twin Cities schools, colleges, and service and administrative units. Please complete this form by Monday, February 5, 2018, if you are interested in serving on the advisory group.

I know how important child care is to families, to the climate and opportunities for work and career balance and satisfaction, and for building a good society. We will provide updated information on the Provost's website as planning continues.

Karen Hanson
Executive Vice President and Provost

Email sent January 26, 2018 to all Twin Cities faculty and staff.