BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – SUNY Broome students are organizing a rally to protest changes to the campus daycare that will cut the number of available slots in half.
In a letter sent home with families last week, the BC Center announced that it would be closing its infant care room and one of its toddler rooms.
The BC Center has been offering childcare at the college since 1975, with slots given first to students, then faculty and staff and remaining openings offered to members of the community.
Isabelle Depa and her husband are both nursing students who rely on the BC Center to care for their 4-year-old and 1-year-old children.
“It’s the reason we chose this school to make it work for our situation. To have it not be available, it leaves us wondering if someone is going to have to choose to not finish nursing school this next year and who’s going to stay home,” she said.
Depa says the quality of the care is wonderful with classroom teachers with many years of experience.
Broome’s Early Childhood/Teacher Education Department uses the program for observation and field studies.
Vice President for Student Development Carol Ross-Scott says the cutbacks were a very difficult decision but the program has been losing 160 to 200 thousand dollars each year.
Ross-Scott says the center had been propped up by commission funds from the food service vendor and bookstore operator that are no longer available.
“When you’re talking about somebody taking care of their child, and somebody having to make the decision as to whether they can go to class or have somebody take care of their kid, this is hard. This is very hard for us to do. We’ve been thinking about this for months and months and months,” she says.
Ross-Scott says that since the letter went out, the decision has been made to continue to offer 4 infant slots, down from 8.
There will also be rooms for 10 toddlers and 7 preschoolers.
Ross-Scott believes those 21 slots will be enough to meet the student demand as that’s roughly the number of students who had been using the childcare.
Meanwhile, the college is looking to secure accreditation as a means for accessing more funding, as well as lobbying the state to provide additional operating revenue.
The rally tomorrow is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in the pavilion next to the BC Center followed by a walk to the campus quad.