The hits keep coming in 2020 as more and more businesses, and lives, are affected. This time, the lives of many parents and students on Evansville's west side are feeling the sting of COVID-19.

Officials from the University of Southern Indiana announced the Children's Learning Center will NOT be able to reopen. There are several factors that led to this decision, some related to the Coronavirus, and some not. One factor was the Children's Center's inability to recruit potential new families, or to accept any new or returning students due to the shutdown. Another determining factor was the potential cost of some much needed improvements to the building that houses the Children's Center.

USI president Ronald S. Rochon says, “Over time, the CLC has provided quality programming for children, educational opportunities for our students and a convenient and important benefit to our USI campus community. Child care has had a presence on our campus for more than four and a half decades and is part of our culture, which makes this decision particularly difficult.”

The university says they hope to bring daycare back to campus at some point in the future. In the meantime, USI is exploring options to provide care for students and employment opportunities for teachers affected by the closure.

This is some tough news, personally, to hear. The USI Children's Center holds a special place in my heart and in my family's heart. Both of my kids spent time as students at the Children's Center, and my wife was a teacher there for several years. We spent many, many hours working on her classroom and on the playground, getting things just write for those kiddos.

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