WSGA creates taskforce to examine University Child Development center

Danielle Clark

The transformation of Washburn from a commuter, nontraditional campus to a more traditional campus is still causing changes.  However, the need for childcare for students with children is still ever-present.  A new Washburn Student Government Association task force aims to look in to the University Childcare Development facility, one of the options open to students and funded by student activity fee money. The primary goals of the task force are to assure that the funds from the Student Activity Fund that are donated to University Child Development are being used correctly, see what areas of UCD can be fixed or improved upon, and to see how Washburn’s UCD compares to other similar sized universities in Kansas.

Applications for the task force were collected through Friday, September 12.

“We have had a combination [of applicants] of students that are both on student government as Senators, and who are not on student government,” said Will Lawrence, WSGA senator and head of the task force.

The goal in appointing task force members is to have three traditional students as well as three nontraditional students, the difference being nontraditional students are students with children.

“Will has the desire and the drive, and I think that he is a qualified candidate because he can pursue something and when he sees a task, it is a challenge to him, but also he can be thorough and detailed” said Charity Hockman, WSGA special events director when asked how Lawrence was qualified to head the task force.

UCD offers full and part time child care to Washburn students and faculty at a discounted rate. Its employees help prekindergarten children develop basic motor skills, communication and social skills, learn the alphabet, and various other enrichment activities. According to UCD Director, Cecelia Courter, the service was recently recognized by Kansas Quality Rating Scales, an organization that rates child development programs on administration, staff training, interaction with children, what the children are being taught, along with many other criteria. The UCD was one of two child development centers to be recognized in Topeka.

“I don’t know a whole lot about it. I don’t enough about it to form an opinion,” said Courter, when asked about her response.

Alan Bearman, university liaison to the UCD, had a similar response. Courter and Bearman also shared similar views on what the program needed: more money and more space. The child care center operates in the four rooms they rent in the University United Methodist Church.