College Should Address Cost Concerns
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 01:11
Kenyon’s faculty and staff come to this hill to work because they love the school — the people, the beautiful campus and the vibrant intellectual community draw a variety of highly talented and dedicated professionals to the College. But when Kenyon employees move to Gambier, they are also conscious that they are moving into a rural area with limited schooling and childcare options.
In 2007, the College sought to remedy an issue many Kenyon parents felt was important: the lack of quality childcare in Gambier. They created a facility that has gone above and beyond in the resources it provides to both children and parents. It also, however, goes beyond the pockets of most Kenyon families.
When plans for the Center were first proposed in 2005, faculty and staff members expressed concerns about affordability in relation to quality of care. While the Center provides excellent, even exceptional, infant, toddler and preschool care, the price of these resources was never adequately communicated to those who would utilize the facility. As a result, when the Center’s rates were published, they came as a shock. Although parents asked for the moon, the administration could have been more upfront about pricing.
This issue has only grown over the past seven years, and it is only now that a proposal, presented by the Presidential Advisory and Communications Team (PACT) has been brought forth to correct it. The proposal seeks to address the center’s affordability for staff members.
Open channels of communication between staff, faculty and administrators should have been in place to foster the sense of community the College values. Unfortunately, providing a quality care center without being cognizant of its costs has caused problems that still exist today.
A benefit is not a benefit if it’s not accessible to everyone, and for many Kenyon employees, the Gambier Child Care Center is simply not an option. As the College tries to address discontent among staff members upset about the discrepancy between staff and faculty pay raises, administrators should take the lead on the issue of child care and help make the Center affordable to every employee.