HERKIMER — Herkimer County Community College has announced plans to close its child care operation next year.

College President Cathleen McColgin announced the planned May 31, 2019, closing in a Dec. 5 letter to faculty and staff.

In the letter, McColgin wrote the college has been subsidizing the operation for the last several years.

Over the last seven years, the deficit has been approximately $1.1 million, she said, with a loss of $137,000 for 2017. The childcare center's operating season was expanded from 10 months a year to year-round following a study in 2017 looking to increase revenues while decreasing expenses. However, it still is expected to have an estimated $125,000 loss this year.

McColgin said the costs are due to child care licensing and accreditation requirements.

"The college cannot continue to subsidize child care at this level," McColgin wrote. "After careful consideration and many difficult discussions, the Board of Trustees voted to discontinue the college’s childcare operations."

The college gave six months of notice so employees and those using the center can find alternative employment or accommodations, officials said.

This semester, there are 28 children enrolled in the center, said Rebecca Ruffing, director of public relations for HCCC. They include a mixture of full-time and part-time clients, all preschool-age children or toddlers.

Only two of the children are the children of college students, Ruffing said. The rest are the children of college employees and community members.

Ruffing added the college’s early childhood and childhood education programs would not be affected by the closures.

She also noted there were discussions taking place with the county and community agencies to expand childcare in the county — something she said has been in the works for some time.

"It is our hope to have more information to share on that in the near future," she said.