A group of concerned parents and daycare employees protested Friday the recent announcement to close the Rogers State University Child Development Center.
The center formally known as the Kiddie Kollege, has been providing early education opportunities and childcare for RSU students and faculty since the 1970’s.
The closing will occur on June 30 and is due to rising costs associated with operating a childcare facility, according to a statement released by RSU .
Parents were notified about the closure on Wednesday evening.
“It is not a decision the university reached lightly,” said David Hamby, RSU director of public relations.
Recent budget cuts prompted the decision during the university’s recent budget process.
“We could not continue to operate in a financial viable manner,” Hamby said.
The center employs five full-time staff and serves approximately 40 children at the facility.
Despite the efforts by university management, center employees are outraged by the decision and furious over the “short notice.”
“We have been raising babies here and providing them with a great education,” Beth Ragsdale said.
This is a quality childcare facility and many or our students excel as they enter pre-k and kindergarten, she said.
“If I had not had the opportunity to use this daycare for my child as a student, I don’t know how my future would have turned out,” Adrienne Jarvey, RSU graduate said.
Jarvey and others protested Friday morning. They expresssed outrage over the decision and that the six-week time frame was “unbelievable.”
“I will not support a university that would do this,” Jarvey added.
They report that numerous attempts have been made to contact university officials but that the calls have not been returned. University employees have offered assistance in locating alternate daycare arrangements for impacted families, according to officials.
Any students affected by the closure are asked to contact the RSU Student Affairs office at (918) 343-7579 to discuss their situation.