The Resource Center for Students with Children is currently building the foundation for the only drop-in center for children on campus. “Little Vikings” will be accessible to students, faculty and staff and will require a Portland State ID when dropping a child off.
While some details for the Little Vikings Drop-in Center are still being developed, the location will likely be Epler Hall, where it will share a floor with the Urban Honors Lounge. The projected opening date is in mid-February.
Lisa Wittorff, the coordinator for the RCSC, is in charge of launching the program and chose to include student-parents in work groups in order to create the most beneficial program for the rest of the parents on campus.
“[We] wanted to have student-parents’ input since the center is principally for them. We have 26 students working with us to publish hours, prices and more,” Wittorff said.
The motivation behind this project came from Wittorff herself, and she explained how it all came together.
“I saw an article in [an] OSU newspaper for a similar childcare center that they had opened. I brought it up to my boss, then the student fee committee, and everyone thought it was a great idea,” Wittorff said.
The center will consist of one room with the capacity to hold up to 14 children at a time. Infants as young as 6 weeks will be welcomed, along with children up to 12 years old. The infant area will be separated by a 24-inch tall divider.
Parents will have the opportunity to reserve a spot in advance for their child for a certain amount of time, and all no-shows will still be required to pay for the time they reserved.
So far, the hours are currently expected to be 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. The center will be closed throughout the weekend.
Hourly prices have yet to be established, but students will receive a 30 percent discount from staff and faculty pricing, and infants will cost $1 more per hour.
Parents will be able to pay as they go, but the min-imum amount of time a parent can use the facility is one hour.
Since this daycare will solely provide supervision of children, openings for employment at Little Vikings will be available beginning in January including a position for a childcare professional as the lead teacher.
One question that came up during the planning process was whether the center will be available to the public during PSU concerts or other public events. Wittorff says this will ultimately depend on popular demand and whether or not it is financially feasible.
“We are hoping to get enough need from the PSU community to [not have to] open to the public,” Wittorff said.