Purdue to increase child care options with new center

September 28, 2015  

PCCC Rendering

An architectural rendering of the Purdue Child Care Center. (Purdue University image) Download Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Construction is in the beginning phase for a new child care facility at Purdue University that will have the capacity to care for 140 children when it opens in August 2016.

A groundbreaking took place on Monday (Sept. 28) for the new Purdue Child Care Center. Event speakers included Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Trent Klingerman, Purdue vice president for human resources.

“The Purdue Child Care Task Force did outstanding work to examine child care needs on campus, and among its recommendations, supported by members of the University Senate, was a call for additional quality child care options that were affordable,” said Daniels, who announced plans for the center in December 2014. “This new facility is a positive outcome that will provide an additional option for our faculty, staff and students.”

Childcare President

Purdue President Mitch Daniels speaks during Wednesday’s Purdue Child Care Center groundbreaking event. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download Photo

The center, to be built on Dexter Lane facing Horticulture Park, will provide a 63 percent increase in the full-time child care capacity on campus, bringing Purdue to the midpoint of capacity at other Big Ten and peer institutions. The 16,400-square-foot center will serve children ages 6 weeks to 12 years, with 116 of the 140 available spaces dedicated to preschool-age children.

Modeled after Purdue’s Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center, the new facility will feature a 20,000-square-foot natural playground area and additional indoor spaces dedicated to enhanced programming and indoor play.

Children’s Creative Learning Centers LLC has been selected to manage the new facility as well as the Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center.

Childcare Groundbreaking

Taking part in Wednesday’s groundbreaking were, from left: Eva Nodine, director of benefits; Candace Shaffer, benefits administrator-family programming; Morris Levy, a professor of biological sciences; Purdue President Mitch Daniels; Jack Wallace, Children’s Creative Learning Centers’ vice president of client relations; Keith Cherkauer, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering and co-chair of the Child Care Task Force; Christine Keller, Purdue graduate student representative of the Child Care Task Force; and Trent Klingerman, vice president for human resources. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download Photo

The Child Care Task Force, made up of nine faculty and staff members from the West Lafayette campus, issued its report in October 2013. The report evaluated the state of child care at Purdue and made recommendations based on findings, generated in part, from a campus-wide survey conducted in spring 2013.

“We found that an overwhelming majority of those with children in Purdue child care at that time were satisfied or very satisfied with the level of care, but that additional capacity was needed,” said Keith Cherkauer, task force co-chair. “It’s gratifying to see that Purdue is moving forward on this facility, which should be a force in the recruitment and retention of quality employees and students.”

Shiel Sexton is serving as construction manager for the project, which is a partnership among Purdue, Purdue Research Foundation and Children’s Creative Learning Centers LLC. PRF owns the facility, which will be leased to the university for a 20-year term. The project construction cost is estimated at $5.3 million.

Information for families regarding enrollment and registration at the new center will be released in January 2016.

Purdue currently provides on-campus care for infant through preschool-age children on the West Lafayette campus at the Ben & Maxine Miller Child Development Lab School, Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center, and Purdue Village Preschool, representing a total of 212 full-time slots. Each center is operating at 100 percent capacity.

Writer: Brian Zink, 765-494-2080, bzink@purdue.edu

Sources:  Trent Klingerman, 765-496-6846, klingert@purdue.edu

Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu

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