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More Childcare Options in 2012

Northwestern to expand childcare opportunities in Chicago and Evanston

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October 13, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will offer additional childcare options in both Evanston and Chicago starting in 2012, University officials announced. The expanded options will enable more faculty, staff and students to take advantage of the University’s childcare programs.

“Northwestern is committed to working with childcare providers in our host communities in order to allow parents a range of options,” said Lori Anne Henderson, Northwestern’s director of work/life resources. “We’re pleased to be able to offer these additional opportunities and resources.”

In Evanston, the University is working with Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a leader in the field of employer-sponsored childcare and early education, which plans to open a new center. Northwestern University faculty and staff will be given priority access to enrollment for 60 children in a newly proposed Bright Horizons Center in downtown Evanston near campus. The childcare spaces would be available for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. Specific emphasis has been placed on increasing the capacity for infant care within Evanston, with 20 spaces for infants, 20 spaces for toddlers and 20 spaces for children ages 3 to 5.  The center is projected to be open in the fall of 2012.

In addition, the McGaw YMCA Children’s Center, with which Northwestern has had a long-standing relationship, has been working closely with the Office of Work/Life Resources to develop an Evanston satellite location that would add at least 50 childcare spaces to its current capacity. The location has not been finalized, but is expected to be determined soon. This would provide additional capacity for children of Northwestern faculty, staff and students.

Currently, 105 children of Northwestern faculty, staff and students are enrolled at the Children’s Center. The new satellite center is expected to add two infant rooms, two toddler rooms and a pre-K room.

The Children’s Center recently received its National Association for the Education of Young Children re-accreditation. NAEYC is known for the rigor of its standards and the Children’s Center received scores of 100 percent on all of the program standard criteria it was evaluated on by NAEYC. The University donated $10,000 to the Children’s Center to help with playground renovations and other equipment needed to meet NAEYC standards.

For additional information on the Children’s Center, go to: http://www.mcgawymca.org/youth-teens/childrens-center/.

In Chicago, construction is scheduled to begin this month to renovate and expand the University Children’s Center, Northwestern’s partner in offering childcare for children of faculty and staff on the Chicago campus. The center is located at 446 E. Ontario St., near the Chicago campus. The expansion will provide additional infant and toddler classrooms, and enhance the capacity of the center, offering an additional 40 spaces.

This summer Northwestern University renegotiated the current guaranteed-space arrangement with CCLC, the parent company for the Center, and added 32 reserved spaces, bringing the total number of reserved spaces to 79. This enhances the priority enrollment and discount arrangement with the Center. The project is expected to be complete by January 2012.

Currently 70 children of Northwestern faculty, staff and students are enrolled at the University Children’s Center.

The University Children’s Center received its NAEYC accreditation in January 2011. The center offers educational enrichment programs and child care for children ages six weeks to five years. For more information about the Center or to enroll, visit http://www.cclc.com/northwestern

The University continues to work with faculty and staff groups to enhance Northwestern’s assistance in providing childcare, Henderson said.

“We understand the need and the importance of high quality childcare options for our faculty, staff and students, and we continue to explore the best alternatives in both Evanston and Chicago,” Henderson said.
Topics: University