A total of nine Utah universities and colleges offer on-campus childcare to students in the form of daycares, preschools or both. While on-campus child care options can help alleviate the challenges of student-parents, the facilities are not exempt from their own challenges.
Dixie State University
Dixie State Preschool teacher Teresa Snow the university’s 3-year-old program fills up quickly, but its 4-year-old program has an afternoon class that isn’t full.
However, she said it’s important that parents receive an education because it can expand their mind and possibilities.
Little Badgers Preschool and Daycare Faculty Director Danni Larsen said the facility struggles with funding and availability. For example, she said it’s difficult when a student calls needing to place their child with Little Badgers, but they would have needed to call six months earlier to have even gotten on the waiting list. She said the facility’s biggest limitation is its building, which is an older building with limited space and resources.
However, she thinks parents should get educated because it teaches them to be contributing members of society and how to think critically.
“I think (education) really does help you become a better, well-rounded person,” Larsen said.
University of Utah
The University of Utah has a total of five varying child care programs, according to its website.
Afton Johnson, an office assistant with the university’s Center for Child Care and Family Resources, said the programs struggle with having enough space.
“The need for child care is so great that we’re trying to expand and grow and get more child care programs to meet the need, but space to get a child care program operating is really hard,” she said.
However, Johnson said it’s important that parents get an education so they can better their lives and meet their goals.
“It’s the thing that’s necessary to be financially stable in their lives and to give their children the best opportunities,” she said.
Utah State University
Utah State University’s Dolores Doré Eccles Center for Early Care & Education offers an infant/toddler class for children ages 6-weeks to 24-months, a junior preschool class for 3 to 4-year-olds and a senior preschool for 3 1/2 to 6-year-olds, according to their website. They also have a kindergarten. Tuition rates range from $396 to $1,100.
Additionally, USU’s Brigham campus offers the Little Brigham Aggies daycare. Director Cheryl Preece-Smith said the facility allows students to pick their own daycare schedules for their children to accommodate their class and work schedules. However, this becomes challenging to piece together every semester.
Another big challenge is the cost of staying open. Preece-Smith said the Little Brigham Aggies opened its services to the public about five years ago in an effort to fill more daycare slots and produce additional revenue.
“We always operate in the red,” she said.
However, she said it betters all of society when student-parents receive their education.
“It means a better life for them and their children. It’s better for our society to have people that are educated and contributing members,” she said. “The children are just more engaged in their own education.”
Utah Valley University
Wee Care Child Care Center Director Todd Harper said the center’s services have faced financial challenges, and it would help if there was better collaboration each semester between their schedule and student-parents’ schedules.
However, he said having educated parents helps kids both at home and school.
“Anybody that has the education and knowledge and degrees, it helps society,” he said.
Weber State University
Hourly Child Care Center Director Debbi Cragun said the facility struggles with accommodating student schedules, as well as with scholarships, funding and other financial support.
However, she said parents should receive an education because “it passes on that legacy for children and creates an environment of education within their home.”
The director of BYU’s on-campus preschool and kindergarten declined interviews on behalf of the school’s teachers, as the first few weeks of the new year are stressful for teachers and staff.
Salt Lake Community College offers childcare but did not respond to interview requests. Southern Utah University, which offers an on-campus preschool, also did not respond to interview requests. However, in May 2017, SUU announced the creation of an on-campus daycare and preschool center, which has experienced delays due to funding issues but could be completed in fall 2019.
LDS Business College, Utah State University-Eastern and Westminster College do not have any type of child care options for student-parents.