June 28, 2018– Northern Kentucky University announces an agreement with a local non-profit to continue operating the early childhood learning center on NKU’s campus. The local non-profit has operated an early childhood learning center on the University of Cincinnati campus for more than 25 years as the UC Early Learning Center (UCELC).
UCELC has applied to the Kentucky Division of Regulated Childcare for licensure and approval to assume ownership of the NKU Early Childhood Center (ECC). Pending that approval, the NKU location of the Early Learning Center is anticipated to begin operating sometime in July; however, the ECC will continue to operate under NKU’s ownership until required state approvals are received.
“We are fortunate to have found a strong partner that has a long history of providing excellent childcare and early childhood learning on a university campus in our metropolitan area,” said Gerry St. Amand, NKU interim president. “The Early Learning Center will provide a meaningful service to our students, faculty and staff. I’m pleased we reached an agreement with them to continue to offer high-quality child care on our campus.”
"The partnership with NKU is a great opportunity to serve families in northern Kentucky and continue high-quality care in a university setting,” said Kelly Bigham, executive director of the UC Early Learning Center. “We look forward to working with the university for a smooth transition with minimal impact to the families."
While NKU notified the campus of the ECC’s closure in the spring to allow time for finding alternative care, NKU officials remained vigilant in their search to find other child care solutions for the families impacted.
“We kept looking for viable options and also ways to secure discounts at other child care facilities,” said Dr. Dan Nadler, vice president of Student Affairs. “This opportunity with UCELC developed as a result of those continued efforts and is a win-win for both sides. They have been looking to expand to serve more families in the area, and our center was in need of an operator.”
NKU extended the operations of the ECC, keeping the center open while the agreement with the Early Learning Center is finalized. This agreement is the culmination of a process that began in 2015 when NKU formed a task force to evaluate the ECC. They found that its expenses were projected to rise, while its staffing model was “financially unsustainable.” NKU is working with UCELC to finalize details, such as rates and the name of the on-campus center.
“The UCELC has a long history of providing non-profit child care on UC’s campus. I’m confident we have a strong foundation to continue building the future of early childhood education here on NKU’s campus,” said Dr. Nadler.
NKU’s ECC served 54 children in the 2017-18 academic year. For more information on the transition, please visit the ECC website.
About NKU: Northern Kentucky University is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018! Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information on our 50th, visit nku.edu/50.