University Of Alabama at Birmingham, Early Learning Center

Spots Are Full At University Of Alabama At Birmingham’s New Early Learning Center

UAB's new early learning facility is carefully designed to support faculty and staff success by providing affordable child care services.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has inaugurated a new Early Learning Center to address the growing childcare needs of its employees; and believe it or not, spots are already full.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 30, UAB President Ray L. Watts said, “We are pleased to open this new, thoughtfully designed facility that more than doubles our capacity to offer quality, accessible child care and early learning experiences.” According to the university, the single-story facility boasts a space large enough to accommodate up to 228 children and 46 infants across its 18,500 square feet, which includes classrooms, operational spaces, and a 9,700-square-foot outdoor playground.

The center offers reduced tuition and discounted services to UAB’s faculty, staff, and students, providing a “practical and financially sustainable solution,” according to Brian Burnett, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.

UAB recognizes the ongoing demand for childcare solutions. “Child care is a big issue across the state of Alabama, and UAB is no exception to that,” Burnett said, as mentioned on Despite being at its maximum enrollment, the institution is working to open up more availability. “We had a waitlist for several years of over 200 families wanting access to child care while they study, or serve our hospital or teach our students in the various operations of UAB, so this was in great demand,” Burnett said.

As previously mentioned by BLACK ENTERPRISE, on-campus early learning programs have also been a focus for other institutions like San Antonio College, which established a free Head Start center on its campus.

A five-year collaboration between the Association of Community College Trustees and the National Head Start Association seeks to encourage more college campuses to establish Head Start centers. The initiative addresses the needs of nearly 4 million U.S. college students who simultaneously juggle roles as students and parents.