Electronic Arts (EA) is an entertainment company that has defined interactive software for gaming systems worldwide. From the SIMS™ series to EA Sports™ and Need for Speed™, EA has been guided by the mantra of producing "software worthy of the minds who use it." Its corporate campus was built not just to house talented gaming visionaries, but to foster a sense of real community. That's exactly where KinderCare Education (KCE) and its 8,900 sq. ft. center for employees' children join the success mix.
A key part of EA's plan to nurture a strong sense of community was the decision to host an on-site child education and care center for employees on the company campus. To do that successfully, EA's focus on community required partnering with a provider who could understand the unique culture of this highly innovative company.
Ray Montalvo, EA's Senior Director, Facilities and Corporate Services, explains, "I think what's really important is that I know KCE really digs deep into the relationship of the company in which they are contracted. They understand we're not just another site; it's about being part of that community. From the beginning they've understood we're a company with a strong sense of culture, separate from any other company."
EA chose KinderCare Education for its proven ability to deliver:
- Committed Partnership. It was essential for EA that they could rely on their provider to truly listen and respond to their unique needs and requests
- Community-Focus. Willingness to share center to all EA staff, not just enrolled families, via special events and a Parent Resource Room
- Flexibility. Ability to customize everything from hours of operation to food choices to financing structure
In 2002, EA and KinderCare Education opened a beautiful, bright, ground floor center in one of EA's newest office buildings. Originally built to care for 65 children, aged 6 weeks through 6 years, it later was expanded to accommodate 46 more children. The reason? Overwhelming demand from parents.
The KCE center maintains a focus on integrating into the overall community within EA. In addition to providing superior education and care for the children of the families who utilize it, the center extends its services to other EA employees as well. It hosts a Parent Resource Room that's open to all staff and features online access, HR benefit guides, and family-related literature on topics such as effective parenting, caring for the elderly, and preparing for your child's financial future. They also open the doors to children of all employees during company onsite holiday parties and other events.
Having children nearby provides benefits beyond the parents who take advantage of the open door policy to spend time with their loved ones. But there are tangible, bottom line advantages to the center as well. "The employees who take advantage of the child care center actually have a longer tenure here at EA when compared to those who don't," reports Ray.
Ultimately, the center is helping EA find, keep, and motivate a high-performing team building the next generation of interactive software by helping EA define the next generation of corporate culture.
Overwhelming employee response led EA to expand their original KCE child care center, which served 65 children. Today, teachers at the on-site center are able to educate and care for 111 children.
"It's fantastic that you actually see children during your daily work life," states Ray. "I see them walking around campus and participating with their teachers, and you think 'Wow, this is a pretty cool place to work.' It keeps you grounded; keeps you really in check of what life is all about."– RAY MONTA LVO, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES AND CORPORATE SERVICES