Child care can be one of the big obstacles if you’re seeking higher education, but it’s also an issue for faculty and staff.

“It’s really tough to find quality child care in Seattle, in general, in the urban area,” said Amy Hawkins, Director of WorkLife and Child Care Development at the University of Washington.

The university took a baby step to addressing the problem Tuesday. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the UW Children’s Center at Portage Bay, which is on 15th Avenue Northeast. It’s the 5th center like it, but there hasn’t been a new child care facility in 17 years. It has space for 140 preschoolers and infants.

The new resource for faculty, staff, and students is located in a remodeled campus building. The cost was $4.5 million.

There’s a current waiting list of 800 children.

“We know we can never build enough,” said Hawkins.

She said the new facility is part of the university’s plans to double child care capacity in the next five to eight years. It currently serves 267 children, not including the Portage Bay campus.

Hawkins said it costs $1,800 per month for infants and about $1,400 for full-time pre-schoolers. She said students who are parents can apply for scholarships and stipends to help offset that cost.

The new facility opens in January.