Kids Kollege, WTAMU’s on-campus childcare service, is not only cost efficient for students, but also provides flexibility for class schedules.
“Our rates are usually much lower than other daycares and we are more flexible based on students’ schedules,” Darla Jenkins, director of Kids Kollege, said. “We have a minimum of two days a week while most daycares have a minimum of three to five days per week.”
Jenkins said this helps students who only have class two days a week because they don’t have to pay for days their child is not there.
Kids Kollege is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and ranges in age from 18 months to five years old.
Currently, there are three different childcare rates – student, faculty/staff and a community rate. The rates start at $15 per day or $12.50 per half day.
Jenkins said most of the children who attend are students’ children because students are given priority.To place a child in Kids Kollege, the child is put on a waiting list. Priority is given to students and then to faculty and staff.
“Each semester we look to see the ages for those children who need to move up [to the next class], then we begin filling the holes,” Jenkins said.
While there isn’t an abundance of spots available, Kids Kollege has a lower child-to-teacher ratio than most traditional daycares.
“Because of our lower ratios, we are able to provide more individual attention and better care,” Christy Stockton, assistant director, said.
Stockton began working at Kids Kollege as a part-time toddler teacher in 1998 and enrolled her own two-year-old daughter at the same time.
“I could see the benefits of having her in Kids Kollege,” she said. “She learned a lot of things like the routine of school and socialization skills. I could see that she was learning the same things my other two children had learned in pre-school.”
The majority of the staff at Kids Kollege consists of students, and most of them are pursuing education, speech and communication or social work degrees.
Stockton said she feels this is beneficial because most of the workers have an interest in children.
“Everyone here really loves children and they have a passion for teaching them,” Stockton said.
Jenkins said this allows student workers to gain the experience they need and give them the opportunity to work with children.
“They’re doing a service for us, but we’re also doing a service for them,” she said. In conjunction with student workers, other departments also work with Kids Kollege.
Jenkins said the Theatre department and Dr. Trudy Hanson’s Storytelling & Puppetry class come over and perform, Mortar Board does reading projects and the Education department makes books for the children.
“Speech Comm also does hearing and speech evaluations and the Nursing department also performs Denver Screenings to test for developmental milestones,” she said. “This gives parents early updates on their child’s development.”