- More than half of the nation's on-campus child care centers have closed in the last 20 years, according to a new study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
- The centers, which ballooned after the number of parents attending college increased by more than 1.6 million between 1995 and 2012, are facing changes in eligibility rules for child care subsidies.
- The majority of students who use campus child care are black and Hispanic women.
In 2013, Saint Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Va. closed after years of struggling with plummeting enrollment and increasing debt. It was the only school in the region to offer a child care center for its students, many of whom were enrolled in the school's early education academic program. Losing such a facility reduces opportunities for student enrollment, particularly among adult learners who will soon make up a larger share of the national student population.
While it may be economically difficult to establish and manage a full child care center, the number of parent-students suggests it may be worthwhile for campus executives to consider subcontracting the service out to day care providers, or working with providers in the community to provide affordable care with potential subsidies for eligible students.