Wait common with Learning Center’s credentials

Rachel Christian

A widely advertised service available to students, staff and faculty is the Children’s Learning Center, but many people are unaware of how long the waiting list is.

The center provides daycare and preschool services for children between the ages of two and five and offers discounts for those with lower incomes.

According to the center’s website, the average wait is about a year.

“Many new parents are surprised at how long the waiting list is, but the wait is pretty typical of child care centers like ours,” said Jill Raisor, liaison between the center and the Pott College of Science, Engineering and Education.

Many factors, such as accreditation, make the waiting list lengthy, Raisor said.

There are only a handful of daycares in Evansville that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the center is one of them. NAEYC is an organization that requires facilities to meet stringent safety, social and academic standards.

Moriah Smothers is a lecturer in the teacher education department and the mother of a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old. She said NAEYC certified is something she wants in a daycare.

“It’s important to us because it indicates the highest quality childcare facility,” she said.

Another factor impacting wait times is the physical size of the building. Raisor said the accreditation mandates that only 10 2 year olds are enrolled at any given time.

“That’s what a lot of parents don’t understand,” Raisor said. “Our facility just isn’t that big.”

The Learning Center can accommodate more preschool age children than 2 year olds. The center doesn’t enroll any children under the age of two.

Raisor said she would love to see the center expand in the future.

The prices also stay competitive with others in the area, she said.

The Evansville ARC Child Life Center, which shares similar credentials, also has an extensive wait.

Michelle Myers, program supervisor at the Child Life Center, said the average wait before a child is accepted into a program is “usually at least a year.”

She also said some children never get in at all.

Raisor said in order to avoid this issue, parents should put their child on the waiting list as soon as possible.

“I usually suggest looking around for daycare shortly after the child is born,” Raisor said.

The center accepts both students’s and faculty’s children, as well as members of the community. Priority is given to student parents and children who have a sibling enrolled at the center.