Financial Administration

Child Care Centers (G38)

Revised: July 1, 1994

**Given that the term "child care" can be a limiting one and may not accurately describe some UW System institutional programs, in this paper the term "children's centers" is used to describe institutional facilities providing child care and meeting other instructional and academic/institutional support needs.

  1. Background to FAP - Child Care Centers (G38)

    The 1987 GAPP 38 has been revised so as to expand the original document by affirming and/or addressing the following issues: 1) access to child care for students, faculty, and staff is crucial and the institution must make every effort to ensure that all child care needs are met; 2) children's centers have instructional obligations and academic/institutional support roles on campus to be recognized and documented; 3) varying with the institutional mission, these obligations (such as providing teaching certification) require qualified staff; 4) use of funding sources must be clarified; 5) accountability measures are needed; 6) if appropriate to the center's mission, research findings in child development and early childhood education should be reflected in the center's operation.

    This FAP provides guidelines that permit appropriate variation between and among institutions, yet insure compliance with Board policy. Each UW System institution must define "children's center" in the context of its own needs, decide upon a mission for the children's center (or differing missions for particular children's centers if an institution has more than one), and set institutional priorities regarding the services that the center(s) provide. System Administration guidelines are to be used in the operation of any "children's center" or "child care center" with an official institutional affiliation, as defined by the institution. Examples of the factors to be considered by each institution are listed in Appendix A, Enumerated Needs of Various Institutional Constituencies.

    1. University Obligation for Quality

      All University of Wisconsin System children's centers have an obligation to provide high quality care for children, as well as to ensure high standards in teaching, research and public service. Therefore, each institutional children's center should seek and maintain accreditation by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs [NAECP]. NAECP accreditation will insure that the program meets accepted quality standards for: staff-child interactions; curriculum; staff-parent interactions; administration; staff-child ratio; group size; staff qualifications and training; physical environment; health and safety; nutrition; and continuous program evaluation.

      All extant university children's centers should be accredited within five years of the effective date of this FAP and should continuously maintain accreditation. New children's centers should be accredited within three years.**

      **When an institution uses private contractors, the contractor selected should be experienced in obtaining and maintaining NAECP-accredited facilities and must seek and maintain accreditation for new university facilities.

  2. Board of Regents Policy

    Board of Regents' policy on child care is stated in "Equal Opportunities in Education Eliminating Discrimination Based on Gender," adopted by the Board of Regents on April 12, 1974, and amended October 7, 1983. The policy states:

    As an alternative to community child care when it does not meet the needs of the institution/unit, each university should set a goal of seeing that top quality, low cost child care and extended child care services, preferably campus based, are available to the children of students, faculty, and staff.

    Board of Regents' policy regarding child care was confirmed and amplified in Planning the Future (1986) in Resolution SG 18, "The Future of Child Care Services in the UW System." It states:

      1. Each institution shall work wherever possible with community groups, including cooperative organizations, to provide quality, low-cost child care services to students, faculty and staff.

      2. Where community child care does not meet the needs of an institution/unit, the institution should find reliable sources of funding to maintain current child care commitments and move toward meeting additional documented needs.

    1. Other UW System and State of Wisconsin Policies and Guidelines

      Relevant UW System and State of Wisconsin policies include the following** [detailed descriptions of UW System Financial and Administrative Policies are included in Appendix B]:

      **While no current FAP deals with security for students, faculty, staff, and invited campus guests, all institutions have practices and procedures for campus-wide safety. Such practices and procedures should be actively applied to institutional children's center(s)

  3. Guidelines for Implementing Board Policy

    In order to meet the requirements of Board policy, certain guidelines and conditions must be met by all UW System institutions' children's centers, within the context of institutional mission statements and allowing for appropriate institutional variations.

    1. Study of Community Availability and Institutional Needs

      In order to assess whether or not community child care providers can meet the needs of the university, an institution planning a new center must gather available statewide sources of data on community child care providers, available services, and estimated needs (including standardized data sources such as "Child Care Supply and Demand: A Forecast for Wisconsin," updated and published annually by the Wisconsin Child Care Improvement Project, Inc., and community resource and referral data). In consideration of community providers, the survey should address at least the systemwide "Enumerated Needs" [see Appendix A], NAECP accreditation, and additional institutionally specific needs, such as the needs of target populations. The children's centers directors' consortium shall develop community assessment procedures that are consistent regarding both expectations for children's centers and regarding populations of the centers.

      If there is a concern about inappropriate competition with community providers, the institution should follow procedures described in Board of Regents' policy "Competition with the Private Sector," Board Resolution number 5153.

      After assessing community resources and institutional needs, institutions must then designate their own priorities in terms of the mission for their children's center[s], range of possible activities, and available funding sources according to functions. If all needs cannot be met, each UW System institution will prioritize its goals and determine means to achieve them within the guidelines.

  4. Definitions and Illustrations by Activity

    Children's centers integrate many of the appropriate activities of the university under one roof; while these activities are programmatically unified, their primary purposes must be categorized in order to designate funding sources. Children's centers generally use one accounting activity code, but may use more if the center is organized to serve multiple purposes or missions.

    To aid the institutions in identifying the functions of children's centers, Appendix C provides the National Association of College and University Business Officers [NACUBO] definitions. As discussed and charted in Section 5, the mix of activities and the percentage of total effort will vary with each UW System institution and perhaps among institutional children's centers (when an institution has more than one). The functions include: student services, instructional/academic support, basic and applied research, public service/outreach, institutional support, and auxiliary enterprises.

  5. Funding Sources to Operate Children's Centers

    Fee policy should reflect funding sources. Segregated fees may be used to reduce the cost of child care for student-parents only; neither faculty/staff nor community users may be subsidized by segregated fees. While user fees are usually the primary method of funding for all institutional children's centers, GPR/fee and/or in kind support should be determined by the individual institution.

    Children's centers must be funded by sources appropriate to its activities. UW System institutions vary widely in the use of and purposes for their children's centers. Institutions are responsible for the assignment of costs according to activity, weighing the mix of program activities accordingly.**

    **The following are preferred/allowable funding sources by activity:
                                   GPR/     Seg.     User     Gifts/
                                   Fees     Fees     Fees     Grants
    Student Services                 A       A        P         A
    Instruction/Acad. Support        P       N        A         A
    Research                         A       N        A         A
    Public Service/Outreach          P       N        A         A
    Institutional Support            A       N        P         A
    Auxiliary Enterprises            N       N        P         A

    Budgeting and accounting methodology must be established to properly classify the expenditures, if material, and adjusted by the institution. Center directors and other involved administrators should work closely with institutional budget officers on appropriate assignment of costs. Cost assignments will be subject to normal institutional and System Administration review. The "budgetary home" for children's center accounting should be determined by the institution, based on the mission and primary purpose of the program. The combination of funding sources must be consistent with FAP - Student Services Funding (G15).

    1. Accountability

      As is the case with all other units at UW System institutions, children's centers shall be subject to periodic internal audit, conducted by UW System auditors. Among the areas to be audited are: maintenance of adequate records and budget plans; appropriateness of fee-setting policies; and alignment of funding sources with center activities.

      Centers are responsible for keeping records regarding, for example, the type and frequency of faculty and student research activity, the amount of instructional activity, and/or the type and amount of public service work.

      Institutions and/or individual children's centers are responsible for conducting periodic surveys of their parent-clients, assessing client satisfaction.

    2. Exceptions

      Exceptions to the policies and procedures in this paper are permitted, but only with the written approval of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Business and Finance. At a minimum, requests must include: 1) demonstrated need; 2) discussion of the impact upon parent-client costs and services, and 3) demonstrated consistency with the purposes of the policies and procedures contained in FAP - Child Care Centers (G38).

Appendix A


Since UW System children's centers exist to support the institutional mission and to provide services, it is necessary to identify the essential components of each constituency's needs. These needs, supplemented and ranked according to each institutional mission and circumstances, should be used, for example, in assessing institutional needs and in surveying community availability.

  1. Student Needs

    Essential student-parent and nonparent student needs for children's centers include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • availability (enough "slots" to meet demand categorized by age of child population);

    • affordability;

    • on-campus site (or near-campus site), to facilitate the academic achievement of the student-parent and to ensure the welfare of the child;

    • flexible hours (to match class schedules and other obligations, hours are needed such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings only or Tuesday and Thursday afternoons only);

    • drop-in hours (to allow students to study for examinations, meet unexpected test schedules, etc.);

    • fees based on hours scheduled;

    • appropriate sites for fulfilling academic requirements.

    • sick child care;

    • infant care;

    • after school and vacation care matching public school schedules;

    • full-time care for working students;

    • evening care for part-time students with evening classes;

    • weekend care.

  2. Faculty and Staff Needs

    Recent actions taken by the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration and the Department of Employment Relations give public recognition and funding for child care as an employe support service that meets a recognized need, maintains competitive status, and increases employe's productivity.

    In the same vein, UW System would like to provide for faculty and staff child care needs. Faculty and staff members who use children's center facilities have the following needs:

    • availability (enough "slots" to meet demand, serving ages of children where care is needed);

    • on-campus site, to facilitate the productivity of the faculty/staff member and to ensure the welfare of the child;

    • full-time, part-year contracts for faculty;

    • full-time, annual contracts for staff;

    • the possibility of sliding scale fees for staff and/or junior faculty;

    • referral information;

    • additional needs comparable to student needs for sick child care, infant care, etc.

  3. Institutional Needs

    University administrators realize that children's centers also fulfill a variety of broad institutional needs. Examples of these include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • available child care for use in recruiting and retaining faculty and staff;

    • available child care for use in recruiting and retaining well-qualified graduate students;

    • source of additional employment for part-time instructional academic staff members whom the university wishes to bring to full-time status;

    • source of some types of public relation functions;

    • appropriate sites for use in students meeting academic requirements;

    • instruction, research, and public service necessary to fulfill the university's obligation to society regarding care of Wisconsin's children.

Appendix B


UW System has established a number of policy directives for the institutions to follow in operating programs like children's centers. They include Financial and Administrative Policies (FAPs). Those that affect children's centers are identified and explained below.

  1. FAP - Student Services Funding (G15): Student Services

    The purposes of FAP - Student Services Funding (G15) are to provide student service programs (1) direction in the appropriate uses of student fees and GPR support, (2) reasonable flexibility in funding options, and (3) safeguards against inappropriate reliance on fees. For example, in providing basic child care service to students, it is permissible to use GPR, segregated fees, and user fees, but the policy directive states the primary revenue source must be user fees, with GPR and segregated fees allowed. The paper includes a detailed matrix of programs covered and funding sources to be used.

  2. FAP - Auxiliary Enterprises Support Services Chargebacks (F42): Auxiliary Enterprises Charging for Support Services

    Historically, the responsibility for direct program costs of the auxiliaries has been clearly understood to be the responsibility of the auxiliaries, and those costs have been separately identified in the accounting and budget systems. However, the accounting and budgeting of support services, and the responsibility for the cost of those services, has not been as clear. The purpose of FAP - Auxiliary Enterprises Support Services Chargebacks (F42) is to establish that auxiliary enterprises have a fiscal responsibility for the cost of support services, and to provide policy guidance and instructions for assigning such costs.

  3. FAP - Segregated University Fees (F50): Segregated University Fee Policy

    FAP - Segregated University Fees (F50) defines the purposes to which segregated university fees (SUF) can be used (i.e., student service programs) and to whom the fee is charged (i.e., all "on campus" students). The paper also addresses student s.36.09(5) delegated responsibilities, the student role in allocating SUF resources, and the distinctions between allocable and non-allocable portions of the fee. Students have primary responsibility for distributing the allocable (e.g., student activities), and have an advisory role for the nonallocable (e.g., bond agreements).

  4. FAP - Charging Fuels and Utilities - Auxiliary Enterprises (G3): Charging for Utilities for Auxiliary Enterprises

    FAP - Charging Fuels and Utilities - Auxiliary Enterprises (G3) covers the policies and procedures for charging auxiliaries for the cost of fuels and utilities and was revised and reissued. The primary reason for the revisions was to provide a clearer distinction between student service programs which are not charged a fee for utilities and are covered by FAP - Student Services Funding (G15) and FAP - Segregated University Fees (F50), and auxiliary programs which are charged for utilities and covered by FAP - Auxiliary Enterprises Support Services Chargebacks (F42).

  5. FAP - Financial Management of Auxiliary Operations (F43): Reserve Policies and Procedures for Auxiliary and Other Program Revenue Operations

    This paper provides systemwide guidance in developing reserve plans, establishing maximums and acceptable uses, judging adequacy and capacity to meet needs, reconciling approved plans to actual results, and reaffirming the System level responsibility to assess and assure compliance. Each year the institutions assess the extent to which facility/equipment needs will be met from reserves, the financial status and prospects of sustaining reserve plans, and the extent to which actual performance agrees/disagrees with plans.

Appendix C
Definitions and Illustrations of Possible Children's Centers Functions

  1. Student Services

    Student services are defined in FAP - Student Services Funding (G15): "Student services represent the many educational activities which contribute to a student's overall learning experience." The National Association of College and University Business Officers [NACUBO] defines student services as "...activities with the primary purpose of contributing to the student's emotional and physical well-being and to his or her intellectual, cultural, and social development outside the context of the formal instruction program."

    Student services include expenditures for student activities, cultural events, student newspapers, intramural athletics, student organizations, intercollegiate athletics, counseling and career guidance, student aid administration, and student health services. Within the content of that definition, for example, falls such activities as recruitment and retention of students, a function many institutional children's centers fulfill by providing a service essential for student-parents' university attendance.

    In functioning as a student service for both UW System student-parents and nonparent students, children's centers may provide services such as:

    • reliable, excellent-quality, on-site (or near to campus), affordable child care, desirable for student-parents' access to the university's educational opportunities;

    • child care with flexible hours, desirable both to allow students to meet their academic obligations; the attempt to provide flexibility creates tensions between high quality and low costs, which each institution must resolve;

    • support for student-parents and student employes, providing financial aid advising, academic advice, personal consultation (just as athletic departments and other university-supported units provide support for their student constituencies);

    • contribution to the total institutional learning community: knowledge about high-quality child care, parent education, child development, and about inter-generational relationships.

  2. Instruction/Academic Support

    NACUBO defines instruction as including "all activities that are part of an instructional program." Expenditures for credit courses; academic, vocational and technical instruction; remedial and tutorial instruction; and extension courses are included. It also includes "expenditures made toward service for the institution's primary missions: instruction, research, and public service."

    Instruction/academic support includes support for course and curriculum development and activities that provide a mechanism for students to gain practical experience. At many institutions, children's centers serve as sites for instruction and/or academic support. Qualified, state-licensed children's center staff serve as course instructors, internship supervisors, and supervisors of other practicum experiences which are part of students' degree requirements.

    Other instructional/academic support use of children's centers includes activities such as:

    • credit-generating direct instruction taught by children's center-affiliated faculty as regularly scheduled courses;

    • credit-generating field placement experiences for student teachers (DPI requirements: student teachers must be supervised by licensed cooperating teachers with baccalaureate degrees in education; three years of teaching experience, one year of experience at the institutional site, and a supervisory course);

    • practicum and observation sites for a variety of academic departments, including: child development, education, psychology, architecture, music, theatre, art, nursing, nutrition, kinesiology, communicative disorders, communication arts, foreign languages, educational psychology, recreation, etc.;

    • developing and testing model curricula and instructional materials;

    • keeping a balanced population of children for a generalizable research sample;

    • mentoring and advising student teachers;

    • contributing to the recruitment and retention of students in child- and family-related academic programs.

  3. Basic and Applied Research

    NACUBO defines research as "...activities specifically organized to produce research...The category includes individual and/or project research as well as that of institutes and research centers."

    In the case of children's centers, research is conducted on child development, improvements in early childhood education, and/or improved teaching methods, as well as on a wide range of additional topics. Some of the UW System institutional children's centers that serve as research sites maintain waiting lists of researchers. Faculty and graduate and undergraduate students use the centers for research activities such as:

    • basic and applied research focused on life span development and family relationships from a variety of disciplines;

    • faculty and student research project pilot sites;

    • teaching/supporting graduate student research in project design and/or use of human subjects.

    Representative examples of academic departmental use and some types of completed or on-going projects include: child development (parent-child interaction); early childhood education (comparison of curriculum models); architecture (effectiveness of visual cues in guiding traffic patterns); music; theatre; art; nursing; nutrition; kinesiology (normal motor development); communicative disorders (children's interpersonal communication); communication arts; educational psychology (mainstreaming special needs children; integration of new children into classroom); interdisciplinary/multicultural programs.

  4. Public Service/Outreach

    NACUBO defines public service as activities established primarily to provide noninstructional services benefitting individuals and groups external to the UW System including community service programs and cooperative service programs. It also includes advisory services, reference bureaus, consulting, conferences, and similar services to particular sectors of the community.

    Most UW System children's centers and staff members provide public service in a manner similar to that provided by members of an academic department. Public service, or "outreach," along with teaching and research, is part of the traditional triad of responsibilities for university faculty and academic staff. Often, children's centers in the UW System establish quantifiable goals and requirements in public service for staff members. Centers sometimes require public service work as part-of-load for academic staff members. Examples of public service and outreach work include:

    • providing state-of-the-art program models for community, professional, and business child care providers to observe, along with appropriate consultation and guidance;

    • providing parent education for university students and community members and additional community education (for example, the UW-La Crosse children's center provides evening tutoring for Native American and Hmong children);

    • local, state, national and international professional interaction (for example, the UW-Madison children's centers hosts Japanese and Russian educators from post-secondary and elementary institutions annually);

    • consultation regarding national accreditation standards and service as national accreditation team members;

    • state licensure coursework for community child care providers (40 hour entry-level course in child development), as well as in-service continuing education courses for certified teachers (granting CEU credits);

    • presentations at local, state, and national conferences;

    • membership on local, state and national child care boards and leadership in professional organizations;

    • consultation for community and business child care providers, referral services, and professional development for university and community members.

  5. Institutional Support

    NACUBO defines institutional support as "expenditures for central executive-level activities concerned with management and long-range planning for the entire institution, such services to faculty and staff that are not operated as an auxiliary enterprise...." Appendix 2 of FAP - Auxiliary Enterprises Support Services Chargebacks (F42) includes as institutional support such activities as recruitment of faculty and staff and services in support of alumni and community relations.

    Children's centers provide additional support that benefits the institution at large. Such services include:

    • the recruitment and retention of sought-after faculty and staff which often depends upon reliable, high-quality, on-site child care with flexible yearly schedules at prices comparable to private, community providers;

    • recruitment of sought-after, highly qualified graduate and/or undergraduate students which often depends upon reliable, high-quality, on-site child care with flexible yearly schedules at prices comparable to private, community providers;

    Many children's centers choose to encourage a certain percentage of faculty and staff usage, since these parents normally use full-day and often full-year services, thus providing one source of stable funding which is useful in balancing more expensive flexible-hours care for student parents, more expensive care for very young children, and the other activities of the centers.

  6. Auxiliary Enterprises

    Since most children's centers need a stable funding base in order to meet quality expectations and to be able to provide the flexibility needed by student-parents, campus children's centers may at times be operated partly as auxiliaries** (defined in FAP - Auxiliary Enterprises Support Services Chargebacks (F42), for example, when open for use by community residents.

    ** Auxiliary functions support other functions already in existence on campus

    As do faculty and staff users, community users can provide a stable funding base and a source of economies of scale for children's centers. They tend to be full-day clients, while students often use the center for only part of the day; thus the full-day clients' fees are helpful in covering fixed costs.

    Opening the children's center to the community can have additional positive benefits. Community use can provide a positive "town and gown" model, promoting the mutually beneficial cooperation between groups. The institutions help to meet a community need; community members come on to campus, which they might not otherwise do, in the very positive context of receiving high-quality early childhood education for their children. Another benefit of community use is that the addition of "community children" to "university children" may provide a more broadly representative population for researchers.

  7. Preferred/Allowable Funding Sources by Activity

                                GPR/Fees   Seg.Fees   User Fees   Gifts/Grants
    Student Services               A          A          P            A
    Instruction/Acad. Support      P          N          A            A
    Research                       A          N          A            A
    Public Service/Outreach        P          N          A            A
    Institutional Support          A          N          P            A
    Auxiliary Enterprises          N          N          P            A