The service, management, and physical features of a campus child care center: a plan for community colleges
Sparks, Cheryl D Turner
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The intent of this study was to determine the service, management, and physical features of a campus child care combination center (one that emphasizes both education and service) that should be included in a plan for community colleges. Members of the National Coalition of Campus Child Care were surveyed on their opinions of these features of a combination center. In addition, they were asked to describe their current centers. Data were analyzed according to two-year and four-year institutions. The service features of a two-year combination center in order of the proposal were: provision of sleep arrangements, over four hours attendance available, breakfast, lunch, provision of health support services, college enrollment of parent not required, provision of social services, and an enrollment of 61 to 120 children. The management features in order of proposal were: funding through parent fees, institutional linkage through an integral part of the instructional program, funding through institutional funds, maintenance provided by the institution, funding through the instructional budget and national accreditation and state or local licensure. The physical features of the combination center were an on-campus location in a specially-designed building. Data on the four-year combination center and the current two-year and four-year centers were analyzed for comparative purposes. Differences between the two-year and four-year combination centers were so slight that it was concluded that there was no difference between the two. Numerous comments on the need for campus child care for campus-employed parents indicated a need for an employee package that included campus child care. Campus child care combination centers can provide a model for the community child care system. The results of the survey were incorporated in a plan for community colleges. The plan was designed using the National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation program a Texas Department of Human Resources manual, and a National Coalition of Campus Child Care manuscript. The plan can be modified to fit the State Board of Education regulations of any state. Future field testing of the plan is recommended.