Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has spent the past 125 years becoming a world-class teaching hospital and research center. Part of this success was won by realizing the importance of attracting and retaining the best and the brightest. Another part came from exploring just how to do that best.
OHSU posed a question to their professors, scientists, staff, and students: What benefits matter most? They discovered quality, near-site child care ranked high on the list. As a teaching hospital, they knew they wanted to offer an education-based program, and they knew that would require expert help. They began looking for a partner organization who could not only bring experience in early childhood education, but who could create a center that looked and felt like a part of OHSU.
OHSU reviewed track records. They checked out other customized projects. They reviewed client and parent satisfaction surveys. After carefully reviewing a number of provider proposals against their key criteria, the council chose to partner with KinderCare Education at Work (KCE) for its proven ability to deliver:
- Advanced Curriculum. A focus on developing the children academically, emotionally, socially, and physically
- Strong Operational Expertise. Financial and operational acumen to efficiently manage the center and an ability to customize hours of operation to better align with OHSU's 24 hour/7 day a week service
- High-quality Care. Past success gaining accreditation from national early childhood education and care organizations/associations
There were other factors in KCE's favor, too. As OHSU is well-known for its culture of learning, KCE's commitment to cutting-edge, curriculum-based, early childhood education was a welcome complement. As a leader in sustainable business practices, OHSU loved that KCE centers have a history of endorsement from Eco-Healthy Child Care® and that they could opt to pursue a similar path. The final point that made it clear the two organizations were highly compatible?
OHSU's food and nutrition department is dedicated to offering fresh, organic food made from locally sourced ingredients. KCE feels the same way, and collaborated with OHSU's food department to create lunch options for the center that would make any foodie proud.
In the end, the two organizations worked together to transform an old warehouse into a magical place for kids, where they learn lots, and have loads of fun while doing it. In turn, OHSU sees KCE's Healthy Starts Learning Center as a real and ongoing advantage in recruiting faculty, staff, and students.
"Having the child care center is an advantage in our recruiting efforts. Its presence is one less thing prospective candidates need to worry about when coming from out of town," notes Lisa Carter, project lead for OHSU's child care initiative.
As OHSU is well-known for its culture of learning, KCE's commitment to cutting-edge, curriculum-based, early childhood education was a welcome complement.
"KCE was very flexible. We did a custom survey to help determine the optimal schedule, but even after that, they told us we could adjust later if necessary."– LISA CARTER, PROJECT LEAD FOR OHSU'S CHILD CARE INITIATIVE