Planning for Day Care Services

at James Madison University

 

Report of the Faculty Senate prepared by its

special taskforce on daycare services.

 

Task Force Members:

Larry Ham, Chair

Pamela Bailey

Annick Connis

Charles Curry

Rebecca Deloney

Corrine Diop

John McGeehee

Nancy Moulay

Martha Ross

Karyn Sproles

Camilia Washington

Tammy Wagner

Susan Wheeler

Amy Waters

David Zimmerman


 

Executive Summary

The Faculty Senate of James Madison University urges the implementation of daycare services for members of the JMU community. Its recommendation is based on the report of a special task force charged with the responsibility of investigating the day care needs of members of the JMU community, available daycare services, and practices of other universities providing daycare. The task force found that the need is great, the benefits are many, and the time is appropriate to begin daycare services to support the JMU community. The report that follows supports the following conclusions:

  • Provision of daycare services is consistent with the University’s mission and defining characteristics.
  • Provision of daycare services is a low cost tool for the retention and recruitment of faculty and staff, and provides the institution with other important advantages including increases in productivity and teaching/research opportunities.
  • There is strong support for daycare services among faculty, staff, and administrators of James Madison University. On-campus services are the over-whelming choice for daycare services.
  • Private daycare service providers within Harrisonburg are at, or very near to capacity, and do not provide adequate access to members of the JMU community with children.
  • A cursory investigation of other Universities that provide daycare services suggests a number of operation models to be available for implementation.
  • Both a management analysis, and a marketing mix analysis, indicates the provision of daycare services to be a feasible undertaking.
  • Specific recommendations include:
  • o The University establishes an on-campus auxiliary enterprise to offer educational programs and daycare services to children of the University community.

    o The facility should be fully licensed and offer services to children ages 6 weeks through middle school, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday during the academic year, with summer programs and vacation care also available.

    o The services should be available to the children of all faculty, staff, and students.

    o The educational programs should meet all accreditation standards and should involve the use of JMU students and faculty in various programs across campus.

    o The daycare center should involve the services of parents’ advisory board.

    o Cost of services should be assessed on a sliding scale, depending on income level of the parents.


     

    Table of Contents

    I. Justification *

    II. Daycare Benefits for Institutions and Organizations *

    III. Results of Employee Survey *

    IV. Harrisonburg’s Day Care Services *

    V. Daycare Services Provided by Other Universities: *

    VI. Management Analysis *

    Business objective *

    Infrastructure *

    Location Analysis *

    Off-campus Location *

    On-Campus Locations *

    Staffing/Personnel *

    VII. Marketing Mix *

    VIII. Taskforce Recommendations for the Center *

  • Hours *

  • Schedule *

  • Clientele Served *

  • Types of Services Provided *

  • Staffing *

  • Educational Component *

  • Location *

  • Ownership/Funding *

  • Advisory/Governing Board *

  • Appendix 1. Private Daycare Services in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County *

    Appendix 2. Table of off-campus locations *

    Appendix 3. Historical Background of Day Care *

    Appendix 4. Benefits to Child Provided by Childcare *


     

    I. Justification

    Planning on-site day care services for the JMU community is important to furthering the institution’s successes in accomplishing its mission: "We are committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who will lead productive and meaningful lives."

    Characteristic #4 - The University will provide a challenging and supportive environment with a heightened sense of intellectual stimulation.

    The supportive environment that characterizes our instructional efforts is largely dependent on the professional performance of the University’s faculty and staff. The challenges that confront our employees should be those that advance the quality of the teaching, research and other services provided by the University – not family challenges that are easily mitigated through the provision of on-site day care. As the numbers of men and women in our University who share work and family responsibilities continues to increase, our University rightly ensures the success of its mission by ensuring the successes of its employees.

    While the initial delivery of day care services may be limited to faculty and staff, it should be noted that providing these services for students will become increasingly important. As the number of graduate students and returning students grows, more of our students will require and seek supportive arrangements for their children as they pursue their degrees.

    Characteristic #19 - The University will provide technologies and laboratories that are widely accessible to the entire campus community.

    An on-site day care center provides valuable learning opportunities for students pursuing pre-kindergarten through third grade degrees and licensure in the School of Education. Whether the selected model for involving these students into an onsite day care center involves direct, hands-on participation in the provision of services, or provides opportunities for observation, students’ acquisition of practical knowledge and skills will be greatly enhanced. Faculty involved in early childhood research would also benefit from the presence of and access to an on-site facility.

    Acting now to implement day care services is further warranted by our current funding difficulties. The outcome sought from early retirement incentives is the replacement of older, more expensive senior faculty with lower cost, younger faculty. Daycare services allow the University to offer a low-cost but never-the-less much desired incentive that is important to the recruitment and retention of qualified employees of child-bearing age.

    Among faculty and staff there is strong interest in a JMU daycare center. This interest is not surprising. As one of the nation’s most outstanding educational institutions, the University has made a powerful commitment to provide our students with values important to their own wellbeing, to the wellbeing of their families, and to the wellbeing of our Commonwealth and Nation. The provision of daycare facilities would convincingly demonstrate the Institution’s commitment to families and to provide opportunities that permit careers successes for all of its employees and students.


     

    II. Daycare Benefits for Institutions and Organizations

    Childcare issues are cited by employers as causing more problems than any other family-related issues in the workplace, with increases in absenteeism and tardiness, reported in 9 out of 10 companies. Eighty percent of the companies surveyed said that workdays were cut short because of childcare problems (Report published by the National Conference of State Legislatures in 1997).

    The benefits to organizations that provide on-site child daycare services are well documented. Briefly stated, the literature indicates:

  • On-site centers play an important part in attracting quality employees and increases retention.
  • On-site childcare parents have less need to take time off because of childcare emergencies, increasing attendance and productivity.
  • On-site centers eliminate the need for extra trips to the baby sitter or childcare center, reducing employee’s commuting time and stress.
  • On-site centers allow working parents to visit their children during lunch breaks, thereby reassuring parents about the quality of care that their child is receiving.
  • On-site centers demonstrate a company’s commitment to employees, creating greater employee loyalty, which develops a sense of ownership for the employee.
  • On-site centers further organizations’ efforts for developing their corporate images.
  • Some of the benefits associated with daycare are documented by a 1995 Conference Board survey. The surveyed companies reported substantial benefits from offering child care services in the following areas:

  • 62% reported higher morale
  • 54% reported reduced absenteeism
  • 52% reported increased productivity
  • 37% reported lower turnover
  • The report finds that for many companies, investment in childcare benefits the bottom line. Companies such as Johnson & Johnson reported a savings of more than $4 per $1 invested in childcare. The report goes on to say that employers may find it difficult to hire qualified employees without access to affordable quality childcare. Otherwise productive and valued employees may leave their jobs because of childcare problems, or spend time at work handling childcare concerns.


     

    III. Results of Employee Survey

    The following information is based on a survey of JMU faculty and staff conducted during the fall semester of 2002. All faculty and staff were invited by email to participate in the web-implemented survey, and paper copies of the survey were made available to employees without web access. 532 employees responded.

    Quite consistent with the research literature, respondents indicate they would benefit greatly if day-care were provided, and indicate that the University would benefit as well. The following table reports the responses to questions regarding the provision of infant/preschool childcare on or in close proximity to the campus.

     

    Table 1. Infant/preschool childcare on or in close proximity to the campus.

      Question n Percentage
    1 Would enroll children. 362 68%
    2 Be happier to work here. 382 72%
    3 Be less likely to take another job. 340 64%
    4 Be more productive. 313 59%
    5 Spend more time on campus. 300 56%

    The same questions were asked respondents regarding after school childcare on or in close proximity to the campus.

    Table 2. After school childcare on or in close proximity to the campus.

     

      Question n Percentage
    1 Would enroll children. 345 65%
    2 Be happier to work here. 362 68%
    3 Be less likely to take another job. 322 61%
    4 Be more productive. 303 57%
    5 Spend more time on campus. 299 56%

    Several questions were asked to determine the likely institutional benefits. Regarding the impact that a day-care facility would have on productivity, 63% of the 532 respondents report they had either missed work or had to leave early because of childcare problems. In addition, 40% of the 532 stated that they brought their child(ren) to work because of childcare problems. Of the 185 respondents that identified themselves to have supervisory responsibilities, the overwhelming majority felt that the availability of childcare on JMU’s campus would be beneficial to the University’s recruitment and retention efforts. 85% of the supervisory respondents felt that, if JMU offered childcare, potential employees would be more attracted to the University. 82% of the same respondents felt that a JMU childcare center would keep staff at JMU longer.

    The middle section of the survey’s close-ended questions were organized into three sections to determine the likely utilization and anticipated costs to employees for services for (1) infant/pre-school, (2) after-school, and (3) eldercare.

    (1) Infant/pre-school care and costs. Approximately 23% of the respondents indicated having children between 1 month and 4 years, or 160 children. Approximately 21% of the respondents plan to have children in the future, indicating a long-term projection that at least 20% of current JMU employees will benefit from infant/preschool services on campus in any given year. Respondents reported an average expenditure of $330/month for childcare services. 68% of the respondents indicated they would utilize services provided on the JMU campus, if such services are provided.

    (2) After-school care and costs. For the age bracket of 4 years through middle school, 65% of the respondents felt they would enroll their children in a JMU after-school facility. 20% of the respondents report having children currently in an after-school program while an additional 147 plan on having children in after-school care in the near future. Monthly costs for after-school care range between $250-$450 with the largest percentage paying between $250-350 (37%). One employee reported paying over $550/month.

    (3) Elder care and costs. Only 3% of the respondents felt a need for eldercare. It should be noted that this survey was identified as a "Daycare" questionnaire, and some potential respondents may have chosen not to respond if they associated "Daycare" exclusively with childcare. 18 respondents reported needing some form of eldercare with others anticipating the need in the future. The few that responded to the cost of eldercare indicated they pay approximately $250/month, with 37% paying between $150-250/month. Due to the low numbers of returns on this question, additional information should be gathered before this age group is considered for day care.

    The final close-ended questions were asked to gauge respondent’s opinions on which services should be offered, and how the services should be combined. The majority of respondents did feel a need for all three types of services, but wanted them to be individually rather than jointly operated. The largest percentage of respondents favored the provision of infant, pre-school, and after-school care.

    As a whole, those responding to the survey overwhelming believe JMU should provide services to benefit families with children, would prefer utilizing JMU services for their care needs, and do not anticipate these services to be a "free" benefit of their employment. Additionally, respondents are certain that day care services are crucial to the recruitment and retention of younger faculty.

    The responses to the open-ended question were nearly all very supportive of the prospect of JMU offering daycare. While a few respondents questioned providing childcare service during times of significant financial constraints, the overwhelming majority of comments indicated a strong, positive interest and regards the timing of this initiative to be appropriate, if not late. List 1. includes comments that are typical of the themes expressed by the respondents.

    List 1. Typical responses to open-ended question for comments on implementing day-care.

    1. "I don’t have these needs now but I did in the past at another institution. They had a marvelous preschool program on campus. I cannot overstate how important and helpful that was to me as a young mother. This kind of program can make all the difference to women being able to combine work and motherhood, a very difficult thing to do. If JMU wants to see women succeed professionally, it should have these kinds of programs."

    2. "This would be a remarkable recruitment issue. This campus needs to address the needs of the younger faculty."

    3. "This is a great, Great, GREAT idea! I would be a great service for both faculty and staff, and would go someway towards a workplace that didn’t exploit staff."

    4. "The adult degree program students really need this on campus!!!"-

    5. "The location is everything. To have access to my child during the day, in-between classes would be excellent and would make me feel better about the time I spend away from him.."

    6. "I do not currently have children but consider childcare a HUGE and significant issue facing professionals. I will have children in the future and this will be a factor as to where I am employed."

    7. "I personally do not have children. However, the productivity in my office would increase significantly if JMU were to provide child care. I lose many staff hours due to child care related matters."

    8. "I think JMU should develop these services if they can be done for little or no cost to the university, for the benefit of other faculty and staff on campus. I would not use these services."

    9. My child will be in school next year so childcare will not be so much of an issue….but I support without reservation the need for these programs on our campus.

    10. "Although I do not have any children and both of my parents are dead, I strongly support childcare and eldercare programs on campus. I think it would improve employee morale especially in times of frozen salaries, and I think there would be more productivity which ultimately benefits the university. In the long run, I think it would cut costs by reducing number of days that employees had to be out of the office or having to do searches because of high turnover."

    11. "The lack of a childcare facility at a school the size of JMU communicates to its prospective employees that this is not a family friendly environment. From the beginning of my employment here, I have felt penalized for being a parent -- certainly a daycare/preschool facility is only one of many messages that communicate this. However, I feel that the creation of a childcare facility would demonstrate on the part of the administration that the university is not only about its students but is about its faculty and staff as well."

    12. "I feel there is a STRONG need for child care on campus, for both students and faculty. I feel child care would attract employees and older students, and perhaps encourage part-time faculty/staff to seek full-time positions. Child care would also provide experience for students in JMU's already wonderful early childhood education program. I whole-heartedly support efforts to create a JMU child care center, and THANK YOU for addressing a need!"


    IV. Harrisonburg’s Day Care Services

    Appendix 1. presents an analysis of the daycare services in Harrisonburg and Rockingham county. The data was gathered and organized by Childcare Connection, a private daycare provider in Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg has 9 daycare centers and 78 private individuals offering daycare services in their homes. The 9 daycare centers have an estimated capacity of 676 slots with approximately 97 slots. Most of the available openings are for 3-4 year olds. According to Childcare Connection, infant openings are very scarce, and the City’s projected growth will soon exceed all available spaces for all ages.

    [Appendix 1. is not currently in a format for placement on the web.  Attempts will be made to rectify the problem.]


     

    V. Daycare Services Provided by Other Universities:

    Members of the taskforce contacted other Universities that provide daycare services. There are a number of operation models available for implementation. The table that follows briefly summarizes the conversations that were held with some of these other Universities

     


    VI. Management Analysis

    The provision of day care services to the JMU community advances the institution’s accomplishment of its mission, is consistent with its defining characteristics, and promotes the well-being of its constituents. The following analysis is offered to facilitate the development of a final, successful business plan to achieve these advantages.

    Business objective

    The principle objective of a James Madison University Daycare Center is to provide quality care for the children of the JMU community through a warm, caring environment that encourages learning through growth and development activities.

    Potential Ownership Structures

    There are, at least, three possible ownership structures.

    Direct Ownership by the University. The University would operate the business as an auxiliary enterprise, or other administrative unit, with all responsibilities associated with such a business including: all operational costs, salaries, and facility related costs.

    A separate, non-profit corporation. This structure could be established by the University, perhaps through its Foundation. A University controlled governing board would then establish criteria for operations, and retain full strategic authority.

    Private ownership by a private person or group. Following the successful lead of the bookstore, and food services, the University would establish guidelines and conditions that must be met by the individual/group providing JMU childcare, solicit proposals and then select a private person or group to provide daycare services to the JMU community.

    With the present financial condition of the Commonwealth and therefore JMU, it may be prudent for the University to advance a method of ownership that eliminates, or at least substantially reduces, the costs it must bear to provide daycare services.

    Infrastructure

    The size facility required for a childcare center for JMU is dependent on the number of children allowed into the program and the ages of those children. The Commonwealth of Virginia sets childcare policy through the Department of Family and Child Services. Policy manuals developed by the Commonwealth describe the regulations that need to be in place for a childcare center to be licensed in Virginia and provide the guidelines for developing a childcare center.

    An initial estimate of square footage needed for a facility to accommodate 45 children of varying ages is approximately 10,000 sq. ft., dependent on the structure and format of the facility. Infant care increases the requirements for space and support, while after school care and simple daycare are less restrictive. A facility will require certain on-site amenities:

    Sleeping quarters

    Kitchen

    Bathrooms

    Instructional area

    Playground

    Outside play areas

    Inside play area

    Office space

    Storage

    Location Analysis

    Off-campus Location

    The committee members investigated suitable off-campus locations. Vacant properties were identified, and when possible, realtors or owners were contacted. Appendix 2. provides the results of the investigation.

    The renovations required for each these facilities are likely to be extensive, especially as many are older structures that would require asbestos removal. Furthermore, it appears that campus sentiment strongly favors an on-campus location.

    On-Campus Locations

    To consider on-campus locations, members of the committee reviewed the JMU Master Plan was reviewed, and interviewed officials in Facilities Management, Facilities Planning and University Administration. Those interviewed include:

    Dr. Steven Fairchild (College of Education),

    Dr. Ann Leonard (College of Education),

    Dr. Martha Ross (College of Education),

    Ms. Susan Wheeler (Policy and Legal Affairs Advisor),

    Mr. Winfield Hunt (Director of Facilities Planning and Construction),

    Mr. Michael Davis (Facilities Planning/Management),

    Mr. Mack Moore (Resource Planning),

    Mr. Steve Knickrehm (Resource Planning),

    Mr. David Eton (Assistant VP –Budget ), and

    Mr. Charles King (VP Administration & Finance).

    The following potential on-campus sites are possible locations:

    · Unused space, currently occupied by the bookstore in the basement of the College Center (outside access is presently unacceptable for a Child Care Center).

    · East Campus (CISAT): New library approved and planned for construction.

    · CISAT trailers or cottages.

    · West of Main Street (future development in this area will include the Center for the Arts, the Music Recital Hall, a parking deck and possibly a performing arts facility).

    · The new Health Center. Plans include demolishing the existing building and replacing it on the same site with a new facility.

    · 26 older buildings planned for renovation.

    Although campus sentiment favors an on-campus site, consideration of any existing or proposed University space would have to take into account the day care center’s space needs, outside access, parking and drop-off concerns, and play areas, all of which are required and specified by the Commonwealth regulations.

    Staffing/Personnel

    According to information received from the Childcare Connection and the past Director of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Child Day Care, staffing is the biggest challenge to operating a childcare facility. There is a high turnover rate due to low salaries and limited to no benefits.

    A JMU Childcare Center would require a staff based on the type of facility operated. Although infant care is a definite need, it is also the most difficult to manage because of staffing requirements and facility specifications. Staffing requirements, under licensure in the Commonwealth, for a childcare facility are as follows:

    Birth to 16 months – One (1) staff for every four (4) children

    16 months to 2 years – One (1) staff for every five (5) children

    2 to 4 years – One (1) staff for every ten (10) children

    4 years to school age – One (1) staff for every twelve (12) children

    School age – One (1) staff for every twenty (20) children

    In addition to required care staff, the center should also consider any the following salaried job classifications to provide for the administration and coordination of the facility:

    Executive Director

    Childcare Director

    Assistant Director

    Lead Teachers

    Multigenerational Programming Director*

    Adult Care Director*

    * only necessary to the extent elder care services are provided.

     

    Part Time/Temporary staff

    The following hourly positions, with many being part time, would also improve the facility’s ability to better serve the clientele:

    Assistant Teachers

    Secretary

    Clerk

    Van Driver

    Custodian

     

    Schedules

    Staff schedules would be determined after decisions are made regarding the nature of the services to be provided. To handle the needs of the faculty and staff, hours should be established that coincide with the work schedules of those needing childcare. Ideally, the center’s minimum service time would be between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. This period appears to meet the needs of the majority of staff and faculty. Other hours may need to be arranged to provide for late night coverage as appropriate, summer schedules, and vacation schedules.

    Staff Responsibilities

    Executive Director – This person would be responsible for supervision of all operations and direction of staff. In addition, the executive director would handle marketing and public relations for the center. Specific duties would be developed as the actual job description is developed, but duties would include responsibilities in planning, budgeting, and administration of the facility

    Assistant Director – This person would assist the Executive Director with staff supervision and administration. This person would also have the responsibility of planning activities and events for the facility.

    Lead Teacher – This person would have the responsibility of designing and administering the educational component of the childcare center.

    Other considerations regarding staffing requirements involve food service. If the day care facility is directly managed by the University, then the use of campus dining services might be a cost-productive alternative. If the facility is not part of JMU, then the contractor will be required to provide food service. Meals would have to be provided at the noon hour and available at breakfast for those having to drop off their children at an early hour. Morning and afternoon snacks will also be required.

     


    VII. Marketing Mix

    One way to evaluate the feasibility of providing day care services is to apply a marketing mix analysis. Typically, such analyses involve consideration of product, price, place, and promotion.

    Product

    A daycare service for children of the JMU community is the product. The service provided should be the strongest selling point. A daycare center associated with JMU should provide outstanding educational growth opportunities for its participants – a characteristic highly valued by members of the University. Research on childcare indicates that education with nurturing provides children with the best possible growth and development opportunities. The center should provide infant care, pre-school care, day care for youth not in school, and after school care for those in school up to the age of 12. The center will develop and provide an educational component for all participants including the infant category. The center should also provide a morning snack (approximately 10:00am), lunch, and an afternoon snack (approximately 3:00pm). The facility should remain open during the hours of 7:00am and 6:00pm with the possibility of later hours subsequently being determined..

    Price

    The per capita income level for JMU varies between faculty and staff. The per capita income level for faculty is $57,309. The median income level for 1032 classified employees is $29,408. Also, JMU has 175 employees with an average salary of only $17,139 and there are 249 people at JMU making under $25,000.

    These salary and income differences should be taken into consideration when establishing a pay schedule for the center’s service fees. One equitable mechanism for this is a sliding fee schedule based on annual income. Fees should recover both operating costs and costs required for a new facility or renovation of an existing facility. Construction costs should be amortized over a reasonable period of time.

    Place

    The sentiments of those people most likely to require daycare services are quite clear: A successful daycare center would be located on, or very, very near to the JMU campus.

    Promotion

    Marketing a facility of this type on our campus will involve minimal difficulty. There is a need and the faculty and staff that responded to the survey assure they would use these services. Word of mouth is likely the most effective tool for marketing the service. In addition, emails to faculty and staff, paycheck stuffers, mailbox handouts, and direct communication with supervisors will ensure that all interested personnel are given the opportunity to avail themselves of the service.

     


    VIII. Taskforce Recommendations for the Center

    To facilitate the further planning and implementation of daycare services for the JMU community, the committee offers the following specific recommendations. These recommendations are being suggested based the committee’s review of the literature on child care, interviews with the child care service providers in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham region, and the JMU survey that was administered at the beginning if the Fall semester 2002. The committee appreciates the assistance and interaction provided by Marilyn Turner of Childcare Connection and Betsy Hay of Generations Crossing.

    The committee reviewed the inclusion of eldercare, which would provide an intergenerational facility. Until there is evidence of greater need, the committee feels that a partnership with Generations Crossing, or a similar eldercare agency, will best provide this care for our faculty and staff’s parents.

    Hours

    7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Schedule

    During the academic year, the center should provide full day care with an educational component included for ages 6 weeks through kindergarten, before and after school care for first through 7 grades or elementary and middle school students. In addition, the facility should provide summer care and programs for all ages through middle school with possible holiday care and vacation care included.

    Clientele Served

    Initially, the center should be available to all children of faculty, administrative staff, and classified employees. In addition, strong consideration should be given to establishing guidelines that would also allow use of the center by the continuing education students and graduate students trying to return to college for a degree.

    Types of Services Provided

    The center should be a day care facility that provides a fully accredited education program for infants through kindergarten, elementary and middle school students. The center should meet the requirements for certification and state licensing. Staff should be fully certified and accredited by all accrediting agencies required for childcare centers. The center should meet the guidelines as established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

    This organization’s standards are even a little more stringent then the Commonwealth’s requirements. Utilizing their structure will ensure quality in the provision of services. Their standards should be used to identify job descriptions, staff qualifications, square footage/child, adult/child ratio, group size, etc. Presently there are four NAEYC accredited facilities in Harrisonburg; Minnieland, EMU, JMU Young Children’s Program, and Harrisonburg-Rockingham Child Day Care.

    Staffing

    The committee recommends the following breakdown for ages in the center, which identifies the number of staff required:

    6 weeks to 16 months – 8 children (Requires 2 staff)

    16 months to 2 years – 10 children (Requires 2 staff)

    2 to 4 years – 10 children (Requires 1 staff person)

    4 years to school age – 12 children (Requires 1 staff person)

    After school Program – 20 children (Requires 1 staff person)

    Additional staff

    Executive Director

    Secretary

    After school Program Director

    After school Aides – 2

    Certified Nursing Assistant

    Lead Teachers – 2

    Volunteers – Students, etc.

    Educational Component

    The committee is committed to ensuring that the center provides an effective education component for the children. To further the educational opportunities for the children, the center will provide a training laboratory for many different curricula on campus. In addition to Early Childhood Education, there is potential for the involvement of Physical Therapy, Nursing, Social Work, Special Education, Teacher’s Education, Foreign Languages, and other academic programs. The committee also foresees strong possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Health and fitness studies and longitudinal studies for cognitive, social, and physical ability are among the possibilities. As a University facility, there are possibilities for programs such as Business to provide students to assist in management and financial control. Opportunities for service learning assignments and projects would be available to many students.

    Location

    Ideally, the committee feels the best solution would be a center here on campus or adjacent to the campus. A satellite facility away from campus is a possibility but it is felt that the safety, security and convenience of having the children close by outweigh other considerations. The committee’s first choice would be to locate the new Childcare Center in one of the new buildings now being planned or to renovate an existing building on campus to house the center.

    Suggestions for on-campus locations:

  • 1) Build a new facility on the east side of campus. There is ample parking space, nice and safe surroundings, and the facility would be close to UREC, and other university services. CISAT has several centers and houses several academic programs that likely would be involved with the daycare center (such as the Adult Health & Development Center at http://www.jmu.edu/cisat/centers.htm).
  • 2) Partner with the new Health Center.
  • 3) Partner with UREC.
  • 4) A location on University property, west of Main Street. Future development in this area will include the Center for the Arts, the Music Recital Hall, and a parking deck..
  • 5) Unused retail space in the basement of the College Center.
  • 6) Renovation of Anthony Seeger to accommodate the childcare center as it was initially a school and could be modified to handle a childcare center.
  • 7) Participation in some of the other renovations that are going on so that when the renovations are made they could include the childcare center.
  • Recommendations for nearby Off-campus Locations (rank-ordered):

    1. 1) Church location on South Main.
    2. 2) Ron Martin Appliances (University. Blvd).
    3. 3) Quality Farm & Fleet.

    Ownership/Funding

    The committee’s investigation came up with three different possibilities. The first choice of the committee members is an auxiliary enterprise of the University. The second choice is a separate non-profit entity operated for the benefit of the University. Third choice is to contract for service with a private provider. University ownership best assures that the structure, arrangements, and services of a day care center are controlled by the University and therefore most responsive to the needs of the JMU community.

    Grants should be available to assist in the funding, especially if there is a research component included in the design. If the center caters exclusively to JMU, then the community grants that assisted the formation of Generations Crossings would probably not be available. More possibilities exist for external funding if the center is operated as a non-for-profit entity.

    Advisory/Governing Board

    The advisory board of a JMU daycare center should consist of parents utilizing the facility, faculty from the School of Education, and administrators of the University. The board should have the responsibility of recommending program contents, the structure of the program, and the policies and procedures under which the center would operate under


     

    Appendix 1. Private Daycare Services in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

    [Appendix 1. is not currently in a format for placement on the web.  Attempts will be made to rectify the problem.]


    Appendix 2. Table of off-campus locations

     

     

    Location

    Description

    Sq. Footage

    Contact

    1. Denton’s – Liberty Street  

    1400

    Frank Hayden, Kline Commercial Reality 434-9922
    2. S. Main Street --Across from Sheetz. Good parking. Street level for lease @ 2500/month; lower level @ 1500/month.

    3 year leases for both.

    Street level = 3500. Lower level = 4000. Frank Hayden, Kline Commercial Reality 434-9922
    3. Sellers Furniture Store – on 11s. 2 bath, vault, heat/cooling by 4 pumps, loading dock, water and sewer, parking for 25-30 cars. 11 acres = 1.4 million; 5 acres=975,000.

    20,000

    Chuck Sellers, Sellers Reality. 434-7699
    4. Office Products – Near JMU For lease.     434-3809
    5. Quality Farm and Fleet     David Lee, Lee and Associates. 433-7222
    6. Duke’s Plaza Units beside Chinese Food Restaurant – 2343, 2347, 2339, 2351      
    7. JMU Painting and Drawing Center - 1586 S. Main St 2 handicapped accessible bathrooms, all heated, about half A/C, high 16 ft. ceiling, plenty of parking; 5 year lease, 1st 3 years $3,000/month; 4th year $3500/month, 5th year $4000/month (for rent).

    7500

      434-2232
    8. Farmer Jack - Dukes Plaza. Fixtures & equipment are included. (The Farmer Jack in the Cloverleaf shopping center was not recommended by one of the real estate agents due to the facility’s poor physical condition).

    40,000

       
    9. Old Stone Carpet Rent $6500 / month.

    10,000

       
    10. Dominion College $7500 / month. No play area.

    9500

       
    11. Ron Martin Appliances (Univ. Blvd) $7000/month

    10,000

       
    12. Old Honda motorcycle dealership (East Market St., behind Shoney's) $20/sq. ft.

    16,000

       
    13. 2 E Wolfe St. (beside Kline's ice cream) $10/ sq. ft. Office space.

    4,000

       
    14. 90 N. Main St. (near Old Post Office) $8/sq. ft. 2 floors

    12,426

       
    15. Corner of Neff Ave. & Reservoir (beside AAMCO). The land (1.4 acres) is for sale and is zoned B-2.      
    16. Quality Farm & Fleet,) $4-6/ sq. ft. Partially fenced area behind building.

    40,000

       
    17. Church between South Main and Monument St. For sale or lease. Lot contains two houses (kitchen and bathroom facilities), a front playground and a parking lot. 15 minutes walk from JMU and 5 min. from Purcell Park. Purchase price is $795,000, lease price is between $7,000-9,000 per month

    Finished: 8596 Lot: 1.29 ac.

       
    18. Old McCoy’s Furniture (behind Pep Boy’s). (additional information not currently available).      

     


    Appendix 3. Historical Background of Day Care

    Childcare has been in existence since the advent of children. It is just that through most the history of the United States, childcare responsibilities have fallen on the "stay at home Mom." Based on information provided by the National Child Care Information Center, the history of childcare is on a continuum from negligence by the government to enforced legislation by the government. The earliest efforts at childcare were provided in Boston at the Boston Infant School. The Boston program is the first recorded instance of the desire to provide an educational environment for children through early childhood education. Low-income children were offered training in religion, morality, and character building. During the early 1830s, childcare reverted to the classical view that young children needed to be nurtured by their mothers in the home with little value attached to the practices at formally educating the very young.

    The mid-1800s saw a dramatic turn of events with children literally being abandoned or put out of the house for adoption due to a lack of childcare. Many low-income parents who worked and were in need of childcare left their children in the care of orphanages or baby farms until adoptive homes could be found. By 1854, the practice of providing care for children outside of the family home began again, this time in New York. Day nurseries were established in New York City by charitable organizations. The number of nurseries soared in the 1880s and 1890s as European immigrants and rural Americans moved to industrial centers. The philosophy of day nursery care, at the time, was to focus on the child’s health and safety.

    Around 1911, pensions were provided to low-income women to care for their own children (the precursor of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or AFDC). The pensions were minimal, and few families received them. Day nurseries outside of the home began losing popularity and were viewed as a threat to the family unit.

    During the Great Depression and the mid-1930s, the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) funded centers for needy children of unemployed workers. The goal was not to provide childcare while parents worked (as many parents had work infrequently), but rather to create jobs for unemployed people, especially schoolteachers laid off due to budget cuts.

    In the early 1940s, due to World War II, mothers were again needed in the workplace. Legislation was enacted to continue and expand the WPA childcare operations in areas close to war industries. When the entire WPA program ceased, funding for the nurseries was continued by the Federal Works Agency (FWA) under the Lanham Act, which established many social programs during the war. Faced with pleas for more childcare programs, the FWA began to grant Lanham funds to local communities, which could then meet the need for childcare for women employed in defense plants.

    After the war and during the mid to late 1940s, a few cities continued their Lanham Act centers except for those in California. The Lanham centers were continued by the state to enable women to serve in the area’s growing economy.

    With the changes in society’s view of women in the workforce during the late 1960s, movements began to develop to support their continued role in the work force. The feminist movement argued that mothers, regardless of economic status, had both the right to work and the right to childcare. This argument marked a shift from viewing childcare as a poverty issue to a women’s issue.

    Then in 1968, the government began its involvement in the protection of children with the creation of the Office of Child Development (OCD). The OCD attempted to regulate in some way the care provided by child care facilities serving families enrolled in federally sponsored programs. The resulting Federal Interagency Day Care Requirements (FIDCR) seemed to require comprehensive services like those of Head Start, but they were not all specific. OCD wanted to include these standards in the Comprehensive Child Development Act of 1971, but President Nixon vetoed the bill.

    In 1970, the White House Conference on Children identified child care as one of the major problems facing the American family and went on to create the Comprehensive Child Development in 1971. The Office of Child Development Act of 1971 was introduced by Congressman John Brademas and Senator Walter Mondale. The provisions of the Comprehensive Child Development Act would include $700 million for federal funding of high-quality childcare for welfare recipients and $50 million for the creation of new child care facilities. The bill would also extend childcare services to single parents and working families on a sliding fee scale. It called for comprehensive care addressing all the child’s developmental needs.

    President Nixon introduced the Family Assistance Plan (FAP); an initiative to reduce the welfare rolls by placing recipients into training and employment programs. A major obstacle to getting welfare mothers to work was the lack of affordable childcare. The plan earmarked $750 million in the first year for child care services. The Nixon Administration endorsed the Comprehensive Child Development Act of 1971 because it needed the proposed centers to provide childcare under FAP. However, President Nixon vetoed the bill after opposition from conservatives and fundamentalist church groups.

    Then Senator Alan Cranston introduced the Child Care Act of 1979. The bill was similar but greatly scaled down from its predecessor, the Comprehensive Child Development Act of 1971. The Cranston bill met defeat after testimony of an administrator within the Carter administration. Arabella Martinez, an assistant secretary in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW), told Congress that not all working families needed or supported center-based childcare provided by the government. Many preferred their own informal arrangements. This statement contradicted expert testimony that communities were in need of childcare funding. As a result, Cranston withdrew his bill.

    In 1980, a new version of the Federal Interagency Day Care Requirements (FIDCR), which would only affect federal childcare centers, was revised by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS, formerly DHEW). Secretary of DHHS Patricia Harris approved the standards and sent them to Congress. Resistance from the states led Congress to suspend implementation of the standards temporarily. At the request of the Reagan Administration, they were permanently eliminated by Public Law 97-35 in 1981. The standards were published in the Federal Register of 1980 as an example of minimum quality required for healthy environments for children, fire and safety regulations, meals that are nutritionally sound, staff trained to work with children and sufficient in number to meet their basic needs.

    Later in the early 1980s, Federal childcare subsidies established two major forms of assistance, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and the Title XX Social Services Block Grant. The tax credit allowed parents to deduct a percentage of child care costs from their federal tax liability. Prior to 1983, only taxpayers who itemized deductions could claim the credit. Reform achieved in 1983 allowed families filing short tax forms to use the credit, which helped lower- and middle-class families. Title XX provides states with funds for a variety of social services, including childcare for low-income families.

    1981 saw another change in the tax structure. The Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP), authorized by Section 129 of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act, gave a family the option to deduct a percentage of childcare expenses from each paycheck at the beginning of the tax year. The money is reimbursed when the employee submits paid childcare bills. The employee is still paying the full cost of childcare expenses, but with pretax dollars.

    The last change in the 80s was in the provision allowed in the Family Support Act of 1988, which contained a child care provision only because it required welfare recipients to seek training or employment when their children reached 3, amending the previous requirement of age 6.

    During the 1990’s the following legislation was introduced to aid in the provision of childcare services in communities.

  • 1990 - The Child Care and Development Block Grant and the At-Risk Child Care Program were authorized as an amendment under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990.
  • 1996 - The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 consolidated both childcare programs into the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
  •  


    Appendix 4. Benefits to Child Provided by Childcare

    The research literature on childcare convincingly demonstrates the great educational benefits that are provided by well-designed daycare programs. For example, a four year longitudinal study found that children educated in structure child care advance much faster then their peers who had unstructured or home child care. According to a report published by the Families and Work Institute, the conditions in which many children now grow up jeopardize their long-term health and development. The report cites the nation’s high child poverty rate, the number of children who do have the benefits of prenatal care or regular health care, the poor quality of most early care and education programs, and the number of children who enter school without school readiness skills. More and more parents – and their employers – are aware of new research showing that the kind of care young children receive in their early years has a decisive and lasting impact on their development. (p.13)

    A study completed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) indicated that children that have experienced quality childcare show marked improvement in cognitive ability in comparison to children in home-based childcare. The results of the study have several important implications that need to be considered in the decision-making process for JMU’s childcare center. Of the three main implications listed in the study, the fact that children need high quality childcare that promotes their healthy growth and development was considered number one. Ensuring the growth and development of children is important to Universities, whether the children have not yet begun elementary school, or if they on the verge of adulthood. The study initiated by NICHD was considered the most comprehensive childcare study conducted to date to determine how variations in childcare are related to children's development.

    A study released by the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds finds that working parents and teachers see after school programs as an essential support for children. The report concluded that children in these programs benefit both academically and socially in programs that offer a diverse set of activities. The after school program should provide a mixture of academic, cultural, and recreational activities for young people during non-school hours, including before and after school, on weekends, and over the summer months.

    These studies only make the need for increased investments in childcare and after school programs more clear. Parents need these programs to find and keep good jobs, and children need them in order to succeed in school and in life. Statistical benefits documented in the NICHD report involving four national models of after school programs acknowledge the following changes in children in childcare and after school care programs:

  • 80-90% of parents said that their children obtained new skills and became more confident learners, while 85% said their children enjoyed school more.
  • More than 70% of parents surveyed said the programs help their children stay out of trouble and learn to settle arguments without fighting.
  • 75% of the parents said the programs help children get along better with family members
  • 80-90% of parents said they were less worried about their children’s safety
  • Over 50% stated that having their children in these programs helped them to manage their jobs better.
  • Additional research based on data compiled by the National Incident-Based Reporting System (and by a survey conducted in 2000 by Charles Stewart Mott and J.C. Pennys) recognizes that the prime time for children to become victims of violent crime is between the hours of 3:00-6:00pm when they could be in an after school program. During these hours, kids are most likely to become victims of violent crime, be killed by household or other accidents, get hooked on cigarettes, and experiment with drugs. There is also evidence that teens are most likely to engage in sexual intercourse and girls become pregnant during these hours (Newman, Fox, Flynn, & Christeson, 2000). Ninety-one percent (91%) of police chiefs agreed that: "If America does not make greater investments in after school and educational childcare programs to help children and youth now, we will pay far more later in crime, welfare, and other costs." (Mastrofski & Keeter, 1999)

    The committee feels that JMU is in an ideal position to take a lead in responding to the childcare dilemma. Our response should encouragement for the development of a childcare center because of the needs of our employees and their children. Many additional benefits surround the establishment of a childcare center, which would provide us with an early childhood laboratory in our backyard. The most important benefit to realize would be the commitment to our employees by enhancing their own children’s educational development while increasing the lifetime experiences available for our own students. It was evident from the JMU survey that the education of their children is one of the, if not the, most important concern for the future for faculty and staff.

    References Cited

    "Early Childhood Care and Education: An Investment that Works, ( 1997), p.15, National Conference of State Legislatures: National Child Care Information Center:http:nccic.org

    (Children’s World Learning Centers:www.childrensworld.com, October 8, 2002)

    Ahead of the Curve: Why Americans Leading Employers Area Addressing the Needs of New and Expectant Parents (1998). Families and Work Institute, New York, NY.