The Ohio State University Newark and Central Ohio Technical College will close the Newark Campus Child Development Center on June 30, at the end of the current academic year.

The Ohio State University Newark and Central Ohio Technical College will close the Newark Campus Child Development Center on June 30, at the end of the current academic year.

"We've had the center here since the late 1970s, so it's been a longtime center on campus," said David Brillhart, chief fiscal officer for the two schools.

Ohio State Newark dean and director Bill MacDonald said the schools had been subsidizing the center's operations for many years but costs have become too large.

"For many years we have budgeted for a loss," MacDonald said. "We have essentially subsidized the center's operations.

"In the past few years, the loss has increased and last year, it jumped to $140,000 and it looks like it will be at that level or higher. It's the cost to operate the center at the level of quality it has been offering for some time. It's not the fault of anyone operating the center. It's just the cost to operate it."

MacDonald said the increase in costs is largely a result of teacher-student ratios required by accrediting institutions.

"The cost for a center is essentially additional staffing, maintaining student-to-teacher ratios and hiring people who have qualifications that exceed those you typically find at similar facilities," MacDonald said.

Brillhart said though the center has operated since the 1970s, increasing fees have reduced enrollment while costs have escalated.

"I've been in this position 10 years and we've always had a fiscal loss in my time," Brillhart said. "In recent years, the loss has increased for various reasons and we've been trying to deal with that in various ways. We've had to raise our tuition to the point that we are now pretty competitively priced with area child-development centers.

"Our losses have gotten to the point that we can just no longer justify having the center. We used to have a wait list and now that has tightened up quite a bit since we have raised our rates. We've had to bring in more part-time students to fill slots and that's very difficult."

The center has also suffered because the state has cut payments on behalf of low-income parents, Brillhart said. About 60 to 65 children ages 18 months to 12 years currently are enrolled at the center daily, according to a release. The center is open to campus employees, students and community members.

Subsidizing the center also was justified because COTC and OSU students used the center for their own internships, Brillhart said.

"The fact that we are losing that resource, it has a value to us as an academic program," Brillhart said. "It's not just the folks that use the center itself for their children. It supports our early childhood-development program students, who use this as a clinical experience. With many programs we send students out, such as nursing students going to hospitals. It was a nice benefit to having the childhood development center on campus."