studies daycare options
Can the institution open its own center?
RAPs Martha Limber is so frustrated over her
two young sons getting shuffled from one room to another at their
daycare center to fill available spaces that she wants to find
another center where she can help set the policy. Id
like to see an emphasis on moving a child because its right
for the child, rather than the center wanting to maximize its
benefits, she says.
UCAR is trying to help Martha and other employees
with young children by looking into the possibility of opening
its own daycare center. Katy Schmoll, vice president for finance
and administration, says the plan would be to contract with a
private operator to handle the centers day-to-day operations.
Parents who work at UCAR would help set the centers policies,
perhaps by serving on a board of directors or a parents advisory
The impetus, in part, comes from a 1999 review
by the American Physical Society. It recommended that the institution
investigate establishing or buying into a daycare center to assure
that each child would have reliable, long-term care. In an internal
survey last year on work/life balance issues, employees expressed
interest in a daycare center, and Katy has spent the last several
months talking with parents and analyzing various options.
Having a daycare center is a good family-friendly
approach, and it really helps in terms of recruiting and retaining
employees, Katy says.
She says that a UCAR/NCAR/UOP center would have
to be conveniently located in Boulder (possibly near FL) and cost-competitive
with other daycare centers. It would eventually be self-sufficient.
Other details remain to be worked out, such as whether to emphasize
early childhood or afterschool care, allow parents to drop off
their children on an occasional basis, or adopt a particular approach
to care (such as that of a Montessori school).
Despite the interest in the center, Katy warns
that establishing it may take a number of months or even longer.
To begin with, the institution cannot easily establish a center
by itself because only about two dozen children of employees would
likely be enrollednot enough to support such an expensive
endeavor. So Katy hopes to partner with another institution.
A second major hurdle is finding a site. The options
include buying an existing center or converting another type of
building into a daycare center. Neither approach would be easy.
For example, Katy has looked at a daycare center on 28th Street
and Kalmia Avenue that is for sale, but it would need extensive
The economics of running a daycare center
are pretty rough, Katy concedes.
Nevertheless, she remains optimistic that the logistical
challenges can be overcome. If youre interested in tracking
the institutions progress or making suggestions about a
daycare center, you can sign up for an internal e-mail list at
mailman/listinfo/daycare. David Hosansky
Also in this issue...
NCAR Library offers a potpourri of products
new buildings: UCAR purchases Center Green
twonew Delphi coordinators
UCAR/NCAR leads Boulders Bike-to-Work Day
new version of CCSM aids in climate analysis
Profile: Terri Cantrell
a family tradition
phone line available to staff