In 1984 former K-State President Duane Acker appointed a task force that studied childcare needs on campus. The group recommended a large childcare center to meet the K-State community needs. Based on a commitment to parent involvement and affordable cost, the K-State Child Development Center received nonprofit status and opened as the KSU Childcare Cooperative in August 1985 with three programs: a full-day toddler unit, a full-day preschool, and a flexible-time preschool unit, which were all housed in the lower west wing of the “L” building in Jardine Terrace.
Students, faculty, and staff who had children at the center volunteered a few hours a day in order to provide adequate staff for the cooperative. In January 1986 several more units were added, and the center expanded into the upper level of the west wing. As needs for early childhood learning on campus were not met, the center added classrooms until it filled both wings of the building. In 1987, with parental involvement and the support of the Student Governing Association, the center renovated Building “L” for a childcare center and purchased equipment and instructional supplies.
In 2006, the K-State Center for Child Development became part of the university. K-State students immediately supported construction of a new state-of-the-art facility that increased childcare capacity by 50 percent. The current facility opened in late 2010 and serves up to 246 children of the K-State and Manhattan community.