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UWO closes childcare center, puts parents in a bind

UWO Chirldren's Learning Care Center
Posted at 6:01 PM, May 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-14 14:27:41-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — UW Oshkosh (UWO) Children's Learning and Care Center is usually filled with the noise of children, but officials say it's at 1/3 capacity, and because of that, its halls will go quiet for good over the summer.

Dr. Andy Leavitt, UWO's Chancellor, explains the center is licensed for 150 students, but currently has 47. He said the center has been operating at a deficit, and due to the difficulty finding staff and relatively low demand, he decided it would be best for the school to close it.

“It’s not sustainable...we have to look at what’s in the best interest of the University long-term," Leavitt said.

Many parents who rely on the center to care for their children are not too happy about the closing.

Darcy Duffy says she's sad to see the center close, and says her granddaughter Charlotte will miss going there.

“She seems to enjoy having other people to play with and learning," said Darcy. "She’s learning so much.”

Duffy says Charlotte will be cared for in the fall when she's in kindergarten, but she's concerned for other children who need a place to go.

“I have no idea...childcare is really a hard thing to find these days," Duffy said.

Leavitt said that the center will close on June 30, but is hoping to preserve the space for another childcare provider to use.