The second meeting of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, July 18, 2005, at 10:00 AM, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Mary Lou Marzian, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Representative Mary Lou Marzian, Co-Chair; Senators Alice Kerr, Gary Tapp, Johnny Ray Turner, and Ken Winters; Representatives Jim DeCesare, C B Embry Jr, Bill Farmer, Mary Harper, Reginald K Meeks, Charles Miller, Russ Mobley, Tom Riner, Charles L Siler, and Addia Wuchner.
Guests: Dr. H. Steve Freeman, Kentucky Community and Technical College System; Dr. Diane Leggett, Ms. Dana Bush, and Mr. Jim Connelly, Eastern Kentucky University; Dr. Jennifer Grisham-Brown, University of Kentucky; Dr. Tori Molfese and Ms. Michelle Clemons, University of Louisville; Dr. Betsy Farley, Division of Child Care, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services; Ms. Susan Cunningham, Mental Health Association of Kentucky; Ms. Kim Wilson, University of Kentucky; and Ms. Corrie Orthober, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.
LRC Staff: Jonathan Lowe, Sandy Deaton, and Lisa Moore.
Representative DeCesare made the motion to approve the minutes from the June 13, 2005 meeting, and the motion was seconded by Representative Farmer. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Marzian introduced Dr. Kim Townley, Director, Division of Early Childhood Development, Kentucky Department of Education; and Dr. Elizabeth Farley, Director, Division of Child Care, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, who provided a policy overview of on-campus childcare, and childcare support for low-income students.
Dr. Townley said providing childcare to young children on higher education campuses is not new. The first early childhood laboratory school was at the University of Chicago in 1896. She said the first laboratory school in Kentucky was at the University of Kentucky in 1926 formed by the Department of Home Economics and is still in existence today. These early schools on university campuses were often called nursery schools, and focused on both teacher training and research. The service component was a by-product, and some of the early learning laboratories were actually "Mother's Day Out" programs where mothers would bring their children and students would observe the interaction of the child and the parent to learn child rearing skills.
Dr. Townley said in the 1960's there was much research that substantiated the importance of early childhood (birth to five years of age) as a time of rapid development in young children. This research raised the interest of higher education institutions and faculty, and promoted great interest in early learning. The universities responded by establishing early childhood programs often in home economics, education, and psychology departments. These programs were primarily focused around children three to five years of age. They typically were part-day, part-year training for young women who would be raising their children.
Dr. Townley said there were great changes in the 1970's in childcare programs on campus. Increasingly, a service model focus was adopted instead of teaching and research. She said these new programs were full-day programs that lasted the entire year, including the summer. They were housed in academic departments, administrative affairs or human resources departments, student life or student services departments, or provided by vendors such as Head Start or private child care. She said 43 percent of all children's programs now in existence were formed between 1970 and 1979.
Dr. Townley said the 1980's brought the emergence of the comprehensive model to on-campus childcare. It was a program that responded to the multiple needs of the university and the community at large by providing flexible services to a wide variety of clientele. This combination model grew from 42 percent to 61 percent of all programs between 1989 and 2001, and offered a diversity of educational opportunities for children and adults. It also provided a rich environment for a wide range of research opportunities. Its mission encompassed teaching, research, and service.
Dr. Townley said in 2003, 82.6 percent of the early childhood programs were located on campus, and 17.4 percent are located off campus. She said for all programs located on campus, 100 percent of student's children were eligible, 96 percent of faculty families were eligible, 96 percent of staff families were eligible, and 74 percent of community member families were eligible to participate.
Dr. Townley said the ages of the children served has also expanded. The earlier laboratory schools on campus were primarily for three to five year olds. She said when the mission changed, the hours of operation changed, and the ages of children. Now, the programs are serving 43 percent of the infants, 48 percent of school-aged children, 78 percent of toddlers, and 100 percent of preschool-aged children.
Dr. Townley said 87 percent of campus programs report that they have a waiting list, but sometimes the waiting lists are a little misleading. Some women will try to put their child on the waiting list while they are pregnant and were told that they have to wait until at least the child is born. By the time the child is born, the parent may have moved out-of-state, or enrolled their child in a different program. The average number reported on waiting lists is 119.
Dr. Townley said 82 percent of the universities operate the program themselves, 13 percent are operated by an outside vendor, and 4 percent by some other entity. The average number of hours the programs are open is 10 hours a day. Only 13 percent provide evening care, and none in this study provided weekend care. She said in the past the demand for evening and weekend care has just not been high enough to justify keeping programs open during those times.
Dr. Townley said 65 percent of campus programs operate year-round, only 21 percent operate in the academic year only. She said the universities have accommodated the trend for students who attend school year-round.
Dr. Townley said higher education wants to give the best product that it can. She said 61 percent of the programs have the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation, and another 13 percent are in the process of receiving it. This shows a high level of quality taking place in the campus programs.
Dr. Townley said research shows clear indicators of what comprises quality in early care and education, one of which is space. The national standard for space for children indoors is 35 square feet per child. She said the universities or the higher education facilities have an average of 71 square foot per child indoors, and have large amounts of space outdoors for children as well. She said this quality indicator is being met.
Dr. Townley said staffing is critical to program success. Universities have to hire appropriate staff for the positions that are working with young children. She said compensation is an issue when hiring degreed personnel.
Dr. Townley said running programs with good quality that produce good outcomes is not cheap. She discussed the revenue source breakout that shows 63 percent of the funding comes from parent fees. She said 14 percent funded by other revenue sources could be welfare reform, state departments of education, and gift subsidies. Some universities have direct scholarships for children, or do fundraising. However, the national average cost to parents for childcare is $151.00 a week for infants, and this eliminates many students, faculty, community members, and staff from affording the campus programs.
Dr. Townley said 85 percent of universities subsidize the building in some way. She said 81 percent subside utilities, 52 percent subsidize salaries and benefits, 36 percent subsidize supplies, 14 percent subsidize with cash, and 9 percent offer no subsidy.
Dr. Townley said the average annual operational budget for campus early care and education programs is $593,944. The average annual revenue generated by campus early care and education programs is $520,793 creating on average shortfall of more than $73,000.
Dr. Townley said the challenges of campus programs include: 1) appropriate indoor and outdoor space; 2) transportation (including drop off, pick up, and parking); 3) safety issues; 4) coordination of all related programs and services; and the 5) cost. These programs take a commitment of resources in addition to philosophical commitment.
Dr. Townley summarized by citing the benefits of campus programs. They are to provide: 1) a living, learning laboratory for college students where theory is put into practice; 2) high quality on-site early care and education programs, promoting less absenteeism, higher productivity, and higher retention rates among employees, and 3) increased college access and retention for women and minorities students and staff.
Dr. Farley said the Division of Child Care provides the regulations by which low-income families and students can qualify for subsidy programs to support their childcare needs. She said they track the number of students, families, and children served, as well as expenditures on a regular basis. She said 7,840 families were served in fiscal year 2003, and 3,550 served in fiscal year 2005, while $18,474,396 in expenditures was spent in fiscal year 2003 compared to $10,071,830 in expenditures in fiscal year 2005.
Dr. Farley said in 2003, there was a waiting list so no new applications were accepted. Adjustments were made in the program such as lowering the federal poverty level, and changing regulations to require that full-time students work at least 20 hours a week to receive subsidies. These changes reduced the number of eligible participants significantly.
Representative Mobley said it seems to him that this program would be desirable to any student, faculty, or staff member. Is there priority given to anyone in the selection process? Dr. Townley said it depends upon the individual program. She said the early childhood laboratories would enroll by research priority depending upon what types of children they needed for research. She said sometimes it is open and slots are filled on a first-come first-served basis. She said it comes down to a funding issue and what students are able to pay. If the program is going to be affordable for parents and staff, and still maintain quality, the higher education institutions is going to have subsidize more of the program.
Representative Mobley asked if there were any comparative studies conducted on cost between campus and comprehensive daycares. Dr. Townley said she had not seen any comparative studies on that issue. She did say the average for childcare across the nation is $4,500 a year, which is more than college tuition at the University of Kentucky.
Representative Miller asked said many people get training in this program for their student teaching. He asked about the difference in finances for this program compared to the public school programs. He also wanted to know who could apply for this program. Dr. Townley said a low-income working parent that earns 150 percent more than the federal poverty level would not qualify. A full-time student has to work at least 20 hours a week in order to qualify. She said a person also has to select a licensed or certified childcare center or home to received a subsidy.
Representative Miller asked if the charge was the same for children attending four hours a day versus ten hours a day. Dr. Townley said tuition rates vary by individual childcare centers. She said some have a part-day charge, while others charge a flat weekly rate.
Representative Miller discussed the issue of the universities paying 52 percent of salaries and benefits for certified employees. He wondered if there were regular employees from the community working at these university programs. Dr. Townley said yes, depending upon the individual institution. She said the University of Kentucky (UK) posts job openings and anybody can compete for the position with the appropriate qualifications. She said 52 percent of the childcare programs reported in this survey said they subsidize salaries and benefits in some way. About half of the centers do this in order to have a bachelor degreed teachers in the classroom for young children that the parent fee or other revenue will not pay toward that teacher's competitive pay.
Representative Miller asked if certified personnel were employed in all university childcare campus programs. Dr. Townley deferred that question to the representatives at the meeting that will discuss their individual campus programs, but said the chart in the handout shows from the national survey that many degreed people are being hired. She also said there is an interdisciplinary early childhood education certification that is applicable to these campus programs as well as the state funded preschool programs and first steps intervention. She said people who graduate with that degree would be eligible to work in all three of those programs across the state of Kentucky.
Representative Miller asked if people could receive all of their student teaching hours in a university childcare program and then go on to teach in the public school system. Dr. Townley said there is a capstone student teaching option in the interdisciplinary early childhood education programs and some people do their student teaching in these campus programs, some in private childcare centers out in the community, and some do them in the state funded pre-kindergarten programs. She said student teaching can be done in all of these areas and then they are eligible to be employed as a certified teacher once they get their K-TIP year completed.
Representative Marzian asked about the program financing slide in the handout. She said the average annual operations budget for campus early care and education program is $593,944, while the average annual revenue generated by campus early care and education program is $520,793, which she is assuming is from grants and fees from the parents. She wondered if that meant was all universities needed was a commitment from the state for $73,000. Dr. Townley said this was the average.
Representative DeCesare said the numbers presented in the handout are national numbers. Are these numbers in-line with Kentucky's numbers? Dr. Townley again deferred to the representatives at the meeting from the various institutions, because each one has a different model and sources of revenue to fund the program.
Representative DeCesare said while the number of children attending the campus programs has decreased, the cost per child has increased $200 over a two-year period. Dr. Farley said every other year a market rate survey is conducted and different childcare centers across the state are surveyed to see what they are charging parents. She said costs do not remain the same, and adjustments will be made. She said 75 percent of the childcare centers throughout the state are going to get an increase in terms of subsidy payments, and this will go up even more next year based upon the market rate survey that was just completed.
Representative DeCesare asked how many days does the average child attend the childcare facility. Dr. Farley said the childcare programs vary and have different rules in how they make parents pay. She said the market rate survey figures its findings on a child attending a full-day, full-week, and then a part-day, part-week. She said most facilities require a weekly payment whether the child is there all week or not.
Representative DeCesare asked if all Kentucky universities were going to have a childcare program. Dr. Townley said the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) has conducted a survey and to her knowledge most of them are participating in some way either with a laboratory model, service model, or a combination of both. She said CPE will present the information from the survey to the committee in the near future. Representative Marzian referred him to the handout in the members' folders that gives an overview of individual university campuses and what programs they are offering.
Representative Wuchner asked if the university campus programs were going to have outcome measurements. She said Kentucky should have the data for the children at emergent level reader levels entering into pre-k or kindergarten to tell us how the institutions are doing. Dr. Townley said most of the universities have a fairly sophisticated assessment system because of the involvement of faculty and also the need to teach the students how to do a continuous assessment system. In the last few years, Kentucky as a whole has rolled out three documents that speak to this issue. The Kentucky early childhood learning standards are what is expected of children to know and be able to do from birth to five years of age, whether a child is enrolled in a childcare program, a faith-based program, or in a state funded pre-kindergarten program. She also said a parent guide has just been released to assist parents with teaching children the learning standards in day-to-day activities.
Dr. Townley said the second part that has been released is a continuous assessment guide which contains screening instruments and classroom instructional materials that a group reviewed for their technical adequacy, were they readily available, and did they provide quantitative as well as quality data. She said there are currently 12 of those instruments approved. She said there is work going on right now to ensure that Kentucky's state funded pre-kindergarten programs, the early intervention system, and childcare programs are being trained on these instruments through the Community Early Childhood Council, which is funded out of tobacco dollars. She said there is money set aside that once programs have completed the training they can obtain a mini-grant to purchase those instruments to use in their classrooms. There is also a "converter box" being worked on to convert the twelve different instruments into a single score to know that children are making progress on the standards. This is all voluntary at this point, but there will be a request made in the fall to mandate it for state funded pre-school.
Representative Wuchner said 56 percent of the children in Boone County entering into kindergarten are at the Emergent Reader I level. She will be following up to check on the mandate this fall.
Representative Mobley said UK currently has 48 children enrolled in its program with 17 spots saved for Fayette County's Headstart program. He asked about the process of determining who gets to fill the 31 additional spots. Dr. Townley said Dr. Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Director, UK Early Childhood Laboratory, will answer the question during her upcoming presentation.
Representative Marzian said the second part of the meeting will focus on presentations from institutions regarding on-campus childcare. She introduced Dr. Diane Leggett, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Ms. Dana Bush, Director, Burrier Child Development Center Instructor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Dr. Leggett and Ms. Bush are representing Eastern Kentucky University (EKU).
Dr. Leggett said the Burrier Child Development Center is a nationally accredited center located on the campus of EKU. This accreditation is evidence to the commitment of the center's high quality. Other highlights of the program include: 1) a highly trained faculty and staff; 2) a high staff-to-child ratio; 3) a high quality environment; and 4) a significant financial commitment from: families, the university, grants, and gifts.
Dr. Leggett said the Burrier Child Development Center has a dual mission: 1) to provide the highest quality care and education for children and support for their families; and 2) to prepare graduates through practical experience in applying developmental theory to effective child guidance, curriculum design and support for children's families.
Dr. Leggett said EKU's program models the traditional early childhood laboratory program. It has two half-day sessions, primarily for three year olds. It is designed to develop the whole child - socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, linguistically, and creatively.
Ms. Bush said the curriculum approach is based on the work of developmental theorists Erikson, Piaget, Vygotsky, and the Montessori and Reggio Emilia educational models. It utilizes a creative, emergent, and collaborative curriculum, rather than a pre-planned, or packaged, curriculum.
Ms. Bush said there are 32 children currently enrolled in the program (sixteen in the morning and sixteen in afternoon sessions). There is an extensive waiting list for Fall 2006. There are two students who have their children enrolled as opposed to faculty and staff.
Representative Marzian introduced Ms. Michelle J. Clemons, Executive Director of Campus Life, and Dr. Victoria Molfese, Professor and Ashland/Nystrand Chair in Early Childhood Education Director, Early Childhood Research Center, representing the University of Louisville (U of L).
Ms. Clemons discussed U of L's challenges in offering childcare to its students, faculty, and staff. She said U of L has some unique challenges, one of which is they are located in the middle of a very urban area with many childcare facilities close to U of L's campus. She said this creates many choice for U of L's faculty, staff, and students. She said there is also a vast amount of U of L part-time students who have found alternative childcare in family homes, and have not found full-time childcare as an option that they are comfortable with because of their schedules.
Ms. Clemons said another major challenge is that their are two separate campuses located three miles apart. She said most new staff are being hired at the Health Sciences campus, while the bulk of the students are located in the Belnap or on the main campus. She said most students still need part-time care, and drop-off coverage, and most nursing and dental students, and hospital employees located at the Health Sciences campus need shift and weekend coverage. The needs are very diverse at both campus locations.
Ms. Clemons said U of L has had a university childcare center in the late 1980's. It was administered by the university and staffed by university employees. It became very ineffective in terms of cost, and the quality of the program diminished. Dissatisfaction eventually led to lower enrollments, and the childcare center was eventually closed.
She said the U of L student population has changed drastically over the years. Recruitment efforts have been geared to graduate and professional students; many more single parents are enrolling; and many returning students are enrolling trying to retool themselves to re-enter the workforce. She said the U of L on-campus population has nearly doubled. Childcare has become a recruiting and a retention issue on-campus, and a real quality of life issue for the entire campus community: faculty, staff, and students. She sees this not just as a campus issue, but as an economic development issue of the state.
Ms. Clemons said U of L has decided to re-evaluate the need for childcare on campus. She said the Commission on the Status of Women has a childcare committee and they have asked U of L's provost to look at the issue of a childcare campus on the university again. She has agreed to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to look at feasibility, and determine if there is an adequate demand for the service.
Dr. Molfese discussed the vision for a child development center, and explained how it could partner with U of L's College of Health and Human Development. She said research has shown that three and four year olds need certain alphabet and number concept skills to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. She said Kentucky has been a leader in identifying early childhood standards for learning. Teachers need an opportunity to explore new curriculum approaches and new methods of teaching in the classroom. She said Kentucky needs opportunities for its in-service teachers to work with the pre-service teachers in the pre-school classroom, and feels a university childcare center would help facilitate that relationship.
Representative Marzian introduced Dr. Jennifer Grisham-Brown, University of Kentucky (UK) Director, UK Early Childhood Laboratory and Associate Professor, UK College of Education, and Ms. Kim Wilson, Associate Vice President, UK Human Resources.
Dr. Grisham-Brown said UK's early childhood laboratory was one of the first programs in the state. She said there is a contract with the public schools and 17 children are served through that. There is a capacity for 54 children at the center, and there are currently 212 children on the waiting list for preschool, and between 75 and 90 on the waiting list for infant and toddler services. Approximately 30 percent of the children on the waiting list are children of students. She said the UK program is a training and research center so they have certain ratios of children they try to maintain in order to have ethnic, racial, and socio-economic diversity within the childcare center. She said children are chosen based on the demographic ratios.
Dr. Grisham-Brown said UK has a Headstart contract with the Community Action Council in Lexington and some children are supported through that effort. She said there is an early Headstart home visiting program that operates out of UK's laboratory, and staff provides on-site developmental intervention to the children that are served through First Steps.
Dr. Grisham-Brown said last year 16 percent of the children served were children of students at UK's campus. She said they are primarily post-doctoral and graduate students who have their children placed in the program, but an attempt is made to serve those children through Headstart or Fayette County because they are both low-income programs. In addition, UK always try to support students by signing them up for subsidies if possible.
Dr. Grisham-Brown said the UK program has four lead teachers with master's degrees, two teaching assistants with bachelor's degrees, and the remainder of the staff is made up of graduate students and student workers.
Dr. Grisham-Brown said the cost is $160 per week for the infant and toddler program, which is very much in keeping with market rate around the Lexington area. She said UK is not the most expensive center in Lexington, but it does rank among the highest in terms of cost. The cost for pre-school services, the half-day program, is $220 per month, and there is an extended service program that is $400 additional if parents are interesting in enrolling their children.
Dr. Grisham-Brown noted that UK is a self-supporting center receiving very little support from the university for the budget. The UK program is primarily supported from parent fees, Headstart contracts, and pre-school public contracts. In addition, UK uses salary savings from the grants that Dr. Grisham-Brown receives.
Dr. Grisham-Brown said there are two main barriers in terms of expanding and supporting more faculty, staff, and student families. The first barrier is space. The UK program is located in a very old building in the basement of Ericsson Hall and experiences frequent flooding, there is asbestos, and safety and accessibility issues.
Dr. Grisham-Brown said the second barrier that the UK program faces is a lack of understanding from those in university community understanding the mission of the program, which is providing training and research for the students, but also a service mission, which is to provide adequate and superior childcare. She said it is a licensed center accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and is listed as four stars.
Ms. Wilson explained the arrangement that UK has with Kindercare on campus. In 1989, UK entered into a contractual agreement with Kindercare, and at that time, the space on campus was provided to Kindercare for the rent of $1 a year for 15 years and they were to construct the facility, which they did do, and it has been in operation for 15 years. As part of the contract, UK was also guaranteed discounts for UK students, staff, and faculty. She said the infant and toddler program for Kindercare was $181 a week; for UK folks it was $147 a week. For the two-year class, the Kindercare community rate was $160 a week, and the UK rate was $138 a week. The pre-school Kindercare community rate was $133 a week, and the UK rate was $122 a week. She said after school care in the community was $77 a week, and the UK rate was $74 a week.
Ms. Wilson said Kindercare currently has 125 spots to serve children; 13 of those are occupied by UK student's children; 91 occupied by employees of UK; 9 come from the community; and there are 12 openings. She said another part of the agreement that UK had with Kindercare was that it guaranteed that there always be at least 75 full-time equivalents, either part-time or full-time students enrolled at any one time, and if not, then the university was obligated to pay at the three-year old rate at that time to guarantee them the 75 percent enrollment. At the 15 year mark, UK has never had to subsidize the program in any way. She also said the low number of students currently accessing the services is due to the fact that it is not affordable to most students at those rates.
Representative Marzian introduced Dr. H. Steve Freeman, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, and Dr. Keith Bird, Chancellor, Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTCS). Dr. Bird discussed the federally funded program that KCTCS is participating in with five of their campuses called Childcare Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS). He said it is an issue however, on all 65 KCTCS campuses throughout the state.
Dr. Bird said community and technical colleges serve almost 50 percent of the undergraduate enrollment in the United States, and over 60 percent of first time non-traditional students age 24 or older. He said this is an acute issue for them, and they are currently doing a follow-up study analysis to determine exactly where Kentucky is in each community.
Dr. Bird said CCAMPIS is a federally funded childcare grant program. It serves primarily low-income Pell grant eligible college students. There are five of these programs funded: Ashland, Gateway, Henderson, Somerset, and West Kentucky. The number of students served in the five programs ranges from 17 to 70 children, and yearly funding ranges from $10,000 to $35,000.
Dr. Bird said the key to the five CCAMPIS programs is they all involve collaboration with the community, and some of the projects have been able to leverage other community dollars because of the need that that community sees for childcare. He believes this is mandatory for a successful program.
Dr. Bird said the students use the program for early childhood education and psychology both for practicum experiences and observation. He said KCTCS needs more resources and space in order to keep up with the tremendous enrollment growth they have seen in the past five years. He hopes the programs will continued to be funded through the Higher Education Reauthorization Act in Washington, D.C., and would like to see the services expanded to the low-income, non-Pell grant eligible population.
Dr. Freeman discussed the West Kentucky Community and Technical College program. He said the CCAMPIS program is the only childcare program the institution provides to its students, and serves the ten most western counties of the Commonwealth with a total service area working population (21 to 64 years of age) of 120,610 individuals.
Dr. Freeman said the Kentucky State Data Center reports that families with female head of households (no husband present) within his service area comprises an average of 20.79 percent of that population. Within that population, 66.9 percent of female head of households have children under the age of 5. Additionally, 38.7 percent of these households are below the poverty level compared to the national average of 26.5 percent. He said 79 percent of students served by West Kentucky Community and Technical College were female head of households.
Dr. Freeman said this program has operated the last four years, and has served 43 families including 70 children for an average cost of $1,314.22 per child. The total grant for the four-year period was a little over $91,000. He said participants have realized a 90 percent completion rate within their program of study and maintained a 2.6 grade point average compared to a 2.4 campus grade point average. He said 90 percent of the participants have completed at least two semesters of education. The college has also experienced a 38 percent enrollment growth over the last four years.
Dr. Freeman said the program has been so successful in part with the help of the subsidies provided for childcare scholarships, but the grant has ended, and staff is in the process of writing to apply for a new grant and the funding is based upon one percent of the total Pell grant distributions made within the student body. He said the new grant they are trying to obtain would provide $46,000 per year for four years if funded.
Representative Marzian asked the UK representatives about their space issue, and if they had approached Dr. Todd about the problem. Dr. Grisham-Brown said Dr. Todd was aware of the problem. Representative Marzian said she would ask Senator Kerr to speak with him about the issue.
Representative Marzian commended all of the institutions who are providing childcare services. However, she said it seems that U of L has dropped the ball. She said students and faculty need on-site childcare because it makes people feel better about the quality of a program. She asked how U of L compares with other benchmark institutions. Dr. Molfese said U of L does not have a childcare program, and when compared with benchmark institutions and research 1 institutions, U of L is the only one that does not have an on-campus childcare facility. Representative Marzian said that is terrible because in a 2002 survey of 1,200 U of L faculty, staff, and students, 87 percent indicated it was very important. Dr. Molfese said there is clearly a need, and there is a feasibility study currently underway that will take eight weeks to complete. Representative Marzian wants it communicated to Dr. Ramsey that this is on her front burner.
Representative Marzian asked if there was any consideration to getting donors to match Bucks for Brains money. Dr. Molfese said they are looking at options, but that would be an excellent option. Representative Marzian asked how much money would be needed in the education budget for these programs. Dr. Molfese estimated the expenses to be approximately a half a million dollars a year, and recover at least half of that amount through fees charged for the childcare, and other identified revenue sources.
Dr. Townley said research shows that children make rapid gains in the first five years of life. She said funding for K-12 is subsidized heavily, but Kentucky does not allow any subsidies for before kindergarten. Kentucky sends the message to parents that it is their responsibility.
Representative Wuchner asked UK representatives if 16 percent of the students were served in the program from the general population in the center laboratory? Ms. Wilson said 16 percent of the children served at the center are children of parents who are students of UK. Representative Wuchner asked where the other percentage of students came from. Ms. Wilson said they are children of staff, faculty, and people from the community. Representative Wuchner asked why there are not more children of students in that program. Ms. Wilson said it is a cost issue.
Representative Siler asked Dr. Leggett about expanding services to extended campus sites because these sites have the majority of the non-traditional students who need childcare. Dr. Leggett said there is a desire at the institution to do it, but no funds.
Representative Miller commented that the university programs are not really serving that many people. They need to think about using the public schools for space for early childhood programs. He said the programs need more money and resources put into them, and need to serve more people.
Representative Marzian asked if anyone from the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) was in the audience that could answer a question. She asked if these expenses could be included in the budget as a line item. Ms. Lee Nimocks, Assistant Vice-President, CPE, said she would find out and get back with Representative Marzian.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 11:50 a.m.