Rice University Plans Child Care Center

Rice University is planning to build a child-care center for children of its students, staff and faculty members. Rice officials say the center it will fill a growing need, and it will be a little different from other centers owned by universities. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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For openers the Rice child care center will not be in rented or existing space. It'll be in a brand new facility Rice will build on land the university owns near the Rice Village about a block from the campus. Plans call for a 9,500 square foot building with nine classrooms and facilities for a maximum of 84 children, ranging from infants to toddlers to five year old preschoolers. Consultant Lisa Hall helped develop plans for the center.

"I believe that there has been an ongoing desire to meet the needs of the faculty, staff, and students with children. And we spent the last two years trying to find the right location, and the right setup that would seem make the most sense to meet as many needs as possible."

Hall says unlike some university owned child-care centers, the Rice center won't be a training laboratory for education majors. That's because Rice doesn't have a very big school of education so it doesn't need a training lab. She says their center will focus on educating children, not just keeping them entertained, and they'll hire professionals to manage it.

"We're expecting to hire a child care facility, a child care company, excuse me, who can run it at a very high level of quality. So everything from educational preparation as the children are older, to ensuring the highest quality of care for the youngest."

They hope to open the Rice child care center sometime next year. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.