Parents try to rally, raise money to keep UNO child care center open

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 9:30 AM

Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

Without warning parents were told that the University of New Orleans campus day care is closing in December due to major state funding cuts. Now parents are scrambling to find another solution.

Parents were told it would take $150,000 to keep the Children's Care Center open through the end of the year. And now students and faculty who use the daycare have taken matters into their own hands.
committing Friday to raise $100,000 dollars on their own.

UNO students like Claire Duhe and her husband rely on the Children's Center to care for their 16-month old son while they’re in class. But now they are one of 81 families who are scrambling to find another daycare.

“Beyond inconvenient,” Claire Duhe said. “I don't know what we are going to do.”

It's the reason parents have teamed up to draft a proposal they say will keep the doors open. Parents have committed to coming up with $50,000 then hold a fundraiser to raise another $50,000. But they say in order for their plan to work they need the university's help too.

“We are asking that the University of New Orleans contribute state funding of $50,000 as a gesture of support for all the effort we will be putting in to keep it open,” said Sarah DeBacher, an English Department faculty member.

Parents hand delivered their proposal to university administrators who had agreed to meet with them again, but cancelled at the last minute.

Duhe says she hopes the university will consider the offer, otherwise she will be forced to take drastic measures.

“I think it will be a good opportunity for them as far as student retention and recruitment, and good for us because we won't have to drop out,” Duhe said. “I mean as a student that is my biggest fear, having to drop out  to watch him.”

The proposal drafted by these parents does come with a deadline. They've given UNO administrators until Oct. 30 to reply.

"While we would have liked to continue providing child care services to our faculty, staff and students, operating the center was too costly while serving a comparatively small number of children," the university said in a statement. The university also said they are open to hearing any proposal that might save the center.

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