Due to budget reductions for higher education across the state, Southeast Missouri State University has announced the future closing of their Child Development Center in Sikeston. The center operates as a full-time child care program open to families of students, faculty, and staff of the Sikeston regional campus, as well as community members.
Southeast provost Karl Kunkel says after an analysis on their academic affairs, decisions were made in pursuit of reducing costs, and prioritizing the base of Southeast.
“Obviously a 9 percent reduction this fiscal year is a significant amount of money that’s coming from the university budget," says Kunkel. "Because of that, we have to make tough decisions that reflect supporting the core of the institution, which is educating students and granting degrees.”
Currently, those who utilize the center pay for the service, but the university subsidizes about $150,000 a year to keep it running.
Kunkel says the university has the money to keep the center open through the rest of this fiscal year, but doesn’t have the funds to keep it open per their FY19 budget. He says the hope in announcing it now was so families could make other arrangements for child care within the remaining 5 months left.
Its last day of operation will be Friday, June 29 of this year.