Dear Friends of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Child & Family Research Center:

You are viewing this website because you have been in some way touched by UNR’s Child and Family Research Center (CFRC), whether as the parent of a child who had been or still is enrolled in the Center, someone who had been enrolled in the Center as a child, a former or current university student working or interning in the Center, or one of the many community friends of the CFRC.

Currently, the CFRC is being systematically eliminated from the campus
In December, UNR recently sent a request for proposals to national child care chains, inviting them to submit plans for development of a privately-operated child care facility on the campus that would serve 200 to 250 children [you can read the full document at]. This document is entitled, “Replacing and Expanding University Child Care Capacity.” The word “replace” repeatedly appears in the document. Proposals were due February 8 and one response was received. A committee will soon be reviewing the proposal that was submitted.

We haven’t been given a fair chance
The CFRC currently serves about 100 children, from infants to first graders. Over the past two decades, the CFRC, recognizing the need for expanded early care and education on the campus, has repeatedly asked for permission to raise funds to build a larger facility. In fact, 12 years ago, approval for a feasibility study had been provisionally granted and developed to the extent that an architect was identified and had drawn up initial plans for such a building. Unfortunately, changes in University administration resulted in an end to this initiative.

We have always fulfilled our original mission
For the many decades of its existence, the CFRC has endeavored to put into practice the mounting research which indicates that the earliest years are critical to all future development and that the positive experiences of very young children are crucial. The CFRC takes seriously its mission to provide the highest quality care and education for children and a supportive environment to the families of those children.

We contribute to the University’s teaching and research mission
In addition, the CFRC is a site for the education of numerous college students in a setting that models the principles and practices they study in their classes. In addition, it also serves as a community resource to private child care and family child care programs. It also should be stressed that the CFRC is a fiscally responsible program, in spite of UNR withdrawing all financial support about 8 years ago.

Join the effort to save CFRC
If you agree that the CFRC rather than a commercial child care chain should continue to provide high quality care and education for UNR’s youngest students, I would appreciate your support. Here is further information and some ways you can help:

  1. Sign the petition: On both this website and our Facebook is a petition which I will present to UNR administrators after I get as many signatures on it as I can. Please sign the petition and share it with others you know who are also supporters of the CFRC. Petition link:
  2. Like us on Facebook: The CFRC has a presence on Facebook at “CFRC Friends & Alumni” (please like us). There is also the newly created email address: If you have further questions, suggestions, or want to be more involved, please use this email address to get in touch.
  3. Help us locate other CFRC advocates:

    Through email, Facebook, and other social media, I hope to reach as many people as possible who have current or past connections to the CFRC. There are literally thousands such folks out there. Unfortunately, records no longer exist of families and children that go back more than six years. Therefore, I am asking everyone to think back to the children, parents, staff, and students who were involved in the CFRC at the same time as you, and direct them to this website, or send their names and any contact information you have to: The more we can reach, the better.

  4. Share  your CFRC memories: I also would love to hear from you with your memories, recollections, and photos about your involvement with the CFRC. Please share these in the comments space on the Facebook page or the “Comments” link through this page.

  5. Attend possible future meeting: The Provost and Dean of Education have already met with current CFRC staff and with CFRC parents. We may need to set up another meeting with UNR administrators, which as many folks as possible should attend. I will let you know if such a meeting is to be planned.

  6. Express your opinion. You may also want to contact UNR President Marc Johnson ( and UNR Provost Kevin Carman ( directly. I would appreciate it if you would send a copy of your letter to, post it in the Comments section on this website, or on the Facebook page.

We will keep you posted if any other activities are planned. In addition, local media will continue to be involved as appropriate in relation to various “Friends of the CFRC” activities. Check the “Press” sub-link under “More Info” on this website for articles that have been written about this issue.

I strongly feel that the University’s move to replace the CFRC is a huge mistake. For those of you who do not know me, I am a retired professor who was on the faculty of the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program for 41 years. For 16 of those years I was also director of the CFRC. I have a very strong commitment to this program, and will do what I can to voice my opposition to this initiative that UNR administrators want to force on us. I look forward to having you join me.

Thank you!

Eva L. Essa, Ph.D.
Foundation Professor Emerita and
Former Director of the CFRC (1971-1987)

P.S. Don’t forget to sign the petition!