History and timeline of UW-Green Bay Children’s Center
This timeline was prepared by UW-Green Bay’s University Archives and Area Research Center in October 2020.
1970-1972 – Committee of UWGB faculty wives, employees, and students conceptualize the idea for a UWGB campus children’s center. A survey indicated a need for the service since students were bringing children to classes, babysitting in the hallways during classes, and the increased population of married students. At the time, there was only one licensed daycare in Green Bay.
December 1971 – UWGB Student Government Association allocated $10,000 for first year operating expenses and $2,500 for equipment.
April 1972 – UW Board of Regents approved plans and funding strategies for UWGB Children’s Center to be opened in September 1972. The plans outlined it was to be a non-profit, cooperative facility charging minimal fees and requiring two parent hours of work per week at the Center. UWGB was to provide, maintain, and renovate a campus building. Staffing was slated to consist of a full-time director and two assistant directors. The director of Outreach was named administrative advisor and UWGB Human Development faculty served as project advisors.
September 1972 – The UWGB Children’s Center began offering classes for children ages 2-5 in a vacated nursing home building owned by Brown County and located along Highway 54-57.
November 1972 – Moved into a remodeled ranch house (cottage) owned by UWGB and located on Nicolet Drive. Dorothy Parsons was hired as the first director.
July 1978 – Designated as site for Federal Foster Grandparents program. These are part time volunteers who work twenty hours per week.
1980 – Pat Schoenbeck appointed director
September 1981 – Three full time staff and twenty-five work study students. Only one of two childcare facilities in Green Bay offering drop-in rates. Center budget is $80,000. 164 children are enrolled at the UWGB Children’s Center while parents attend classes. The Children’s Center was cited as a major influence on selecting UWGB.
November 1985 – Plans for new facility begin. Efforts are directed at constructing a new building to replace the original building which was in disrepair. Emphasized importance to students as a support for their studies.
April 1987 – UWGB Children’s Center Director, Pat Schoenbeck was selected as Child Advocate of the Year
July 1987 – Capital campaign efforts begin for a new Child Care and Family Resource Center. It was envisioned the new center would serve 80 children compared to the 40 children it could serve in the limited space of existing building.
July 1989 – The UWGB Children’s Center program became the first in Green Bay to receive accreditation from the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
December 1990 – New UW-Green Bay child care center building center request approved by UW Board of Regents at funding level of $790,000.
February 1991 – Plan rejected by Wisconsin State Building Commission because it was viewed as a lower priority than other UW System and state agency projects. UWGB did receive $50,000 in funds to evaluate alternatives for a child care facility at UW-Green Bay. A feasibility study was requested to consider a public/private venture model for the UWGB Children’s Center.
February 1992 – Approval given by UW Board of Regents to enter a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a public/private partnership to operate and/or construct child care facilities at UW-Green Bay.
July 1992 – The RFP was distributed to 117 Green Bay, state, and national child care providers, architects, and contractors. A finalist was selected with a plan for the private provider to operate the UWGB Child Care Center while paying annual rent to UWGB. The total estimated cost was $800,000.
December 1992- UW Board of Regents stipulate to receive approval a new building must be operated by a privately-owned vendor. This stipulation was opposed by the UWGB faculty and the Child Center Advisory Board with the concern that it would not meet and continue the involvement of academic programs in the children’s center. This feature of linking with the academic programs had been a mainstay of the UWGB Children’s Center since the beginning.
February 1993- UWGB Chancellor Outcalt and UW System president authorize the inclusion of $800, 000 funding to construct a new childcare facility in the 1993-1995 budget. Some pointed out the authorization failed to address operational costs of the new facility.
December 1993 – Requests to provide funding for childcare at UWGB made to SUFAC. Stated that funds must come from student fees because Wisconsin State Legislature and Board of Regents refused to do so. SUFAC ultimately rejects funding the cost because UWGB would not be able to provide operational support, including faculty support via academic programs. SUFAC members felt the cost was unreasonable (moving from annual support of $38,000 to $150, 000) and only pertained to “2% of the UWGB population.”
June 1994 – UW System funding availability puts project on hold. Private funds would need to be sought since UW funding wouldn’t be forthcoming.
February 1995 – Decision made to close to the Children’s Center. Reasons cited were: usage had declined; deterioration of physical building; and other campus fiscal priorities.
May 6, 1995 – Farewell party for all current and past children, parents, and staff of the Children’s Center.
May 17, 1995 – UWGB Children’s Center formally closed making UWGB the only UW campus without child care services.
2014 – The Student Government Association periodically encouraged revisiting the establishment of a UWGB Children’s Center. In 2014, UWGB students voted to increase their Segregated Fees in support of bringing a Children’s Center back to campus.
2020 – UW-Green Bay receives a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to administer grant funding (playfully, beginning in Spring 2021) to UW-Green Bay students for childcare; and additional funding to initiate a research and planning process for a potential drop-off childcare center on the Green Bay Campus or in partnership with a local provider.