Campus News

University receives results of child care consultant’s study

The University of Georgia commissioned a comprehensive child care needs assessment study in fall 2007 to better understand the needs of its faculty, staff and students for child care services.

WFD Consulting has delivered the report, which was designed to provide information on the availability of child care in the area, the level of demand for child care, the related costs, space requirements for any services to be provided by the university and alternative models with financial implications of each. The study design included a survey, a series of focus groups and a community supply analysis.

The consultants estimate that there would be demand for some 200 slots from faculty and staff and another 40 from students for a child care facility charging $165 per week, which is somewhat above the local weekly average price for child care services. Such a center would require 1.3 acres of land and a 12,000-square-foot building that could accommodate 150 children at any given time (some of the total served would be part timers).

In the pro formas, the study estimates construction and soft costs would approximate $3.6 million, with annual expenses of $1.4 million and debt service of up to $240,000 on an initial capitalization of $3 million. Operating such a center would range from break even to a loss of $167,000 per year. Demand would be greater, the report projects, if a lower price-point was selected.

The consultants provide a variety of models, including a university-owned and operated center, a nonprofit agency model leased to the university or an independent vendor operating the center.

Arnett C. Mace Jr. and Tim Burgess, UGA senior vice presidents, who have led discussions and study of child care needs to date, will use the study to guide further discussions with interested groups, including potential child care clients and child care providers. The goal will be to determine which of the models would provide the best services and is most feasible for implementation by the university.