UA Fort Smith Plans Campus Child Care Center

UA Fort Smith Plans Campus Child Care Center

The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith on Tuesday announced plans to build a campus child care and early education center.

The $1.1 million project, called the UAFS Little Lions Child Development Center, is being developed through a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The Echols Building on campus will be turned from a laboratory space into a child care facility capable of serving 42 children, UAFS said in a news release. Three classrooms will be remodeled and large playground will be fenced and turned into an outdoor learning environment.

The university also received operations funding for the center’s first year, which will enable the center to go through the Better Beginnings Initiative process.

“We know that many parents struggle with finding affordable, quality childcare,” Monica Riley, executive director of the UAFS School of Education, said in a news release. “The inability to find accessible childcare creates such a significant barrier for some students that it could very well end their educational journey.

"UAFS provides a myriad of resources to help all students be successful, and opening the Little Lions Child Development Center is yet another way we can support those who are attending the university, as well as those who are employed here.”