Release Date: September 21, 2010
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo celebrated 25 years of on-campus child care today with a "grand re-opening" of the UB Child Care Center held simultaneously on UB's two campuses, highlighting the renovation of existing classrooms and the addition of new space that will triple the available spots for children.
The expanded and improved facilities of the UB Child Care Center on the UB North and South campuses reinforce the university's role in fostering a strong sense of community that is key to UB's vision of excellence as a 21st century university, said UB President John B. Simpson.
"Just as we are committed to a course of academic excellence by building on the strength of our programs, faculty and student body, we are also dedicated to ensuring that UB is not only a premier center for learning and research, but also a great place to work, live and play," Simpson said.
"As someone who has spent the better part of my life in public universities as a faculty member and administrator -- as well as a parent and grandparent myself -- I have great appreciation for how important excellent and accessible child care is for the members of a university community," he added.
Dennis Black, UB vice president for student affairs, said both locations of the UB Child Care Center have been renovated to be comfortable places for children to spend their days.
"We designed UB's child care centers to be a home away from home as well as a stimulating learning environment," Black said. "The spaces are homey to help children feel at peace in their surroundings, with enough openness and light to help them learn at their own pace."
The South Campus facility, located in Butler Annex A, has been renovated to better accommodate 90 young learners. The North Campus facility, located near UB's Lake LaSalle, has more than doubled in size and will now enroll 132 infants and children.
The renovations and additions will enhance UB's capacity to address a concern close to the hearts of its employees and staff -- the day-to-day welfare of their families, said Patricia Logan, director of the UB Child Care Center.
"Having worksite child care supports faculty, staff and students of UB," she says. "Families affiliated with UB get priority for enrollment. Having onsite child care enables parents to be close to their children and to visit during the day. Many families tell me that knowing their children are safe and well cared for enables them to better work and study."
The five new classrooms on the North Campus will help to shorten the wait for child care that families have experienced in the past, UB officials say. The university will add three new infant classrooms, a toddler classroom, a pre-K class and plans to add school-age care.
The new facilities extend a university tradition of providing child care to its staff. UB opened its South Campus facility in 1985, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of students, faculty and administrators. The second site opened on UB's North Campus in 1998.
"Having a secure and loving place to care for young children is so important to all working parents at UB -- students, faculty and staff," says Ann M. Bisantz, associate professor in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a member of the center's board and volunteer planning committee. "The UB Child Care Center provides wonderful care to our children, and it is very exciting that they now have physical environments that are of equal quality."
UB's Child Care Center enrolls children from ages 6 weeks to 5 years. The centers are open Monday to Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
The UB Child Care Center is one of the first programs in the country to achieve accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children's revised accreditation system. The center's qualified teachers help the children learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, other children and materials, in a safe and warm atmosphere.
The 45 teaching faculty and administrative staff of UB's Child Care Center are diverse. Fifty percent of the teaching faculty is African American, Latino or Asian. The faculty also includes five male teachers. One-third of the teaching staff has been at the center for 10 years or more.
More information is available at the child care center's website, http://ubccc.buffalo.edu.