Last week, the UF Board of Trustees approved a plan to stabilize and expand Baby Gator Child Development Centers in an effort to meet some of the program’s most pressing needs and to lay the groundwork for even more expansion and elevation of the program in the years to come. Vice President for Human Resources Jodi Gentry presented the multi-year, three-phase plan to the Trustees, who approved its first phase, designed to ensure completion of major maintenance projects and stabilize the Centers’ workforce by addressing operational expenses in Fiscal Year 2022.
The university also received approval to launch a fundraising campaign aimed at increasing the number of childcare spaces available through the expansion of Baby Gator at Lake Alice. In the final phase of the proposed plan, UF will seek to develop and construct a free-standing Early Childhood Collaborative in partnership with the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. Slated for Fiscal Year 2024, this effort will seek to raise funds for a state-of-the-art living laboratory where departments throughout the university can come together to support research on early childhood health, development, education and other related topics.