Plans for the Wake Forest University Child Care Center are moving forward
Wake Forest University plans to create a child care and early education center. During its meeting held on October 27, the Board of Trustees approved a decision to renovate the center’s space to accommodate it.
The goal is to open the doors in early fall of 2024.
“Providing access to high-quality child care underscores our commitment to the well-being of the Wake Forest community,” said Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente. “This has been an important priority for our faculty and staff, and I am pleased that we are on track to open a child care center during the year.”
The Child Care and Early Learning Center will provide care for infants through preschool and will be designed to achieve NC 5-Star Quality Licensing and NAEYC accreditation. WFU faculty, staff and students will receive priority registration. Other registration and scheduling details will likely be available to share with the university community in early 2024.
The university chose the University Corporate Center (UCC) as the location for the centre. Construction to renovate the space is expected to begin in January. The university will finalize vendor contracts and will announce the selection of the child care and early education service provider in the coming months.
“Many on our campus have worked hard for a long time to make this happen,” Wente said. “I am grateful for their perseverance and want to thank everyone who has helped us reach this important moment.”
History professor Simon Caron has served on the Child Welfare Advisory Group since 2017 and has been an advocate for the campus solution for the past three decades. “There is not enough child care available in the city and people are on long waiting lists,” said Caron, who applauds the current senior leadership for its strong support. “Having a child care center on campus will fill a critical need and help build a support network for faculty and staff.”
The new resource for parents will have a significant impact on the current faculty and staff already here, but it will also impact future staff.
“When we look for talented faculty and staff to join Wake Forest, one of the first questions they often ask is whether there is access to quality child care,” said Dean Michelle Gillespie. “Being able to answer yes to this question is a game-changer for recruiting and retaining great employees. Balancing work and family is difficult, and we want everyone in our community to thrive personally and professionally.
The university has evaluated child care needs and solutions for many years, but plans were previously derailed by economic and locational challenges, and more recently by the pandemic.
Jacqueline A. said: “Investing in high-quality child care and early education will make Wake Forest a better place for everyone,” said Wake Forest Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Travisano. “We are excited about the next steps and have set an ambitious timeline to complete the project.”