UACCB opens childcare facility

By Amanda Hanson  - bio | email feedback

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - How would you like to go to college and be able to know your child is just a few buildings away? A new childcare facility on the UACCB campus in Batesville has been open for nearly a month and already there's a waiting list!

The project started as a concept back in 2007 involving UACCB, the Batesville School System, White River Planning and Development and Independence County. After receiving a nearly 235,000 dollar grant, the building was constructed.

It's a facility benefiting not only the school system, but students and faculty. "I have a 16-month-old little boy named Jake, who's our first and only child, and he's just as special as can be," says Kara Wilson, who works at UACCB. When the new childcare facility opened its doors this past August she was the first to sign up.

"When I came back to work full time it was just so nice for this facility to be here so close to me, he can ride to work with me and home with me and that's a special time we can share," Wilson explains.

Students, faculty, and staff have first choice when it comes to placement, offering childcare for children 6 weeks to 4 years-old. The Batesville School District runs the center, while the College provides maintenance and the majority of the utilities.

"The facility is great for the community. It's part of our community college concept," says Vic Chancellor for Finance and Administration Gayle Cooper. He says the project is an asset to enhance the quality of education.

"It relieves them from pressure of other things they have to do. They're able to devote more time to their studies. Our early childhood classes will be able to get some training there," says Cooper.

"It's huge. My students can't wait to get out here," says Mindy Shaw, an early childhood development instructor at the college. She says students are on a waiting list to come out and do observations.

"I've had a list for the last year. Put me in that program when it opens up. I want to learn over there with the people that have been to the program. I want to be in the best facility," says Shaw.

A facility Jack Sanders with the Batesville School System hopes will provide qualified teachers to work within the district. "We hope to increase the number of qualified workers cause you can imagine 80 classrooms and of course there is some turnover. So we have this good training ground here."

With children already on a waiting list, the college hopes to apply for more grants and eventually expand the program.

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