Lewis & Clark Kids and Family
Lewis & Clark Kids and Families (LCKF) is made up of more than 100 faculty and staff parents. Associate Professor of French Isabelle DeMarte initiated the group in 2008 to help with the typical challenges inherent in juggling the competing needs and demands of being a parent and a higher education professional.
The LCKF Google group hosts online discussions on topics such as child care, health care, and any family-related issues or opportunities.
A small LCKF planning committee organizes an annual summer BBQ for Lewis & Clark families at the outdoor pool, and a semi-annual swap meet to exchange family items.
Campus Child Care Feasibility Study
In 2013, LCKF received $12,500 from the President’s Strategic Initiative Fund (SIF) to study the feasibility of developing and operating a high-quality on-site child development center to serve children of faculty, staff, and students. Read the story here.
Results of the Study
The feasibility study proposed a high-quality, educational and research-based center that would meet campus parents’ expectations and be consistent with the College’s reputation and faculty expertise in early childhood education.
In terms of program quality, the model assumes that:
the program is in alignment with the Lewis & Clark mission and will play a role in supporting its academic programs;
low child-to-teacher ratios;
the program meets NAEYC accreditation standards and criteria;
all staff have the appropriate degrees and experience;
the center will close for in-service days to allow for staff development, curriculum development, Lewis & Clark student worker training, etc.;
the curriculum will be developed by the staff, rooted in constructivist practices in education and will include an anti-bias and diversity focus;
the center will integrate with academic programs and faculty and student research in the Psychology, Education, and other departments.
In terms of operations, the proposed center envisions 46 slots, year-round, with an in-house food program. The model assumes four classrooms and two suites; a 1-to-3 child-to-teacher ratio for infants, toddlers, and two-year-olds, and a 1:7 ratio for preschoolers (3 years-prekindergarten). There is potential for full-time and part-time enrollment. Teachers would have approximately one hour a day of non-classroom time for curriculum development and parent communications. Each classroom would be staffed by two professional teachers and one student aide.
The study found overwhelming support for the creation of a on-campus child care center (93% of 810 survey respondents across all three campuses).
4th annual potluck and pool party