University plans new child care center

University Communications

The University of Chicago will construct a new child care center in close proximity to the University of Chicago Medical Center clinical and research facilities, Provost Thomas F. Rosenbaum announced.

"The project is a vital step in our continuing commitment to increase child care options for faculty, other academic personnel and staff," said Rosenbaum. "University leaders recognize that providing high-quality child care on campus is essential to recruiting and retaining outstanding talent."

Slated to open in the fall of 2012, the facility will accommodate 120 children of University and Medical Center employees. The center will serve children between six weeks of age and five years old. Committees of faculty, other academic personnel and staff will be appointed to select an outside provider to operate the new day care center, as well as to advise on facility design features and architectural plans. A steering committee will oversee the entire project.

The center will charge market rates and allocate slots on a first-come, first-served basis. Planning will commence immediately, and the center's precise location will be determined in the fall, once the West Campus master planning process is completed. More information will become available for parents and others interested in the center in early 2011.

Since its inception, the Women's Leadership Council has strongly advocated for onsite child care, and many faculty members, department chairs and deans have long identified onsite child care as a major need.

"In order for scholars and clinicians to do their finest work, they must know that their children are in good hands," said Everett Vokes, Interim Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine, Interim Vice President for Medical Affairs, and Interim CEO of the University of Chicago Medical Center. "The new center will help."

In addition to the new center, faculty, other academic personnel and staff seeking child care benefit from the University's partnerships with two local child care providers, the Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network and the Chicago Child Care Society. In 2005, the University funded grant proposals, creating more than 70 new infant and toddler slots in the neighborhood for children of University and Medical Center employees.

"We anticipate that arrangements with the Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network and the Chicago Child Care Society will continue, effectively complementing the onsite center. Our faculty have high regard for these providers," stated Rosenbaum.