In their “Best Place for All” promise to employees, UNTHSC strives to create programs, policies, and a work environment that increases team member satisfaction and engagement. In 2018, in partnership with the Miles Foundation and Lena Pope, UNTHSC created a quality early learning center on its central Fort Worth campus for staff and students to better serve the needs of working parents and students with young children.
UNTHSC employees and students with children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years old are able to enroll at the Lena Pope Early Learning Center on UNTHSC’s campus with Lena Pope guaranteeing up to 70% of slots for UNTHSC staff and student families. First priority is given to any UNTHSC families that are on the current waitlist at Lena Pope along with those families that were anticipating being enrolled in care with Bright Horizons.
The onsite center provides year-round, full-time care Monday-Friday from 6:30am-6pm. Current staff members and students at UNTHSC at the time the child begins attending the Center will be eligible for one of the guaranteed slots. The early learning center is a top-rated, NAECY accredited early childhood development center that features small classrooms and low student to teacher ratios.
Lena Pope maintains a 50/50 split between private pay families and families that qualify for sliding scale tuition rates and subsidized child care. Private pay rates are determined annually by comparing tuition costs of 10-15 area child care centers and setting a rate that is below the mid-point. Lena Pope’s current private pay weekly rates are: $260 for infants; $237 for toddlers; $215 for preschool.
Providing a quality onsite early learning center has resulted in convenience and peace of mind for both HSC employees and students. There has been a tremendous impact on employee satisfaction, culture and a positive trend when it comes to overall employee retention. For the children, it provides stellar learning environment and a place for well-supervised social interaction. This collaborative benefit has allowed the organization to distinguish its competitive benefits among higher education institutions by offering a high-quality early education campus onsite for both the children of students and employees.
“As an employee, I feel supported, like we are each a part of a larger team that cares about me and my family.”
“[This policy] has led to a culture that allows for professional growth that doesn’t come at the expense of my family.”
“This collaboration was not only a major step for expanding access to high-quality, early childhood development in Fort Worth, but, providing quality child care right here on campus was a major step toward fulfilling our HSC Best Place for All Initiative designed to grow a sustainable people culture by creating programs, policies and a work environment that increase team member satisfaction and engagement.”Dr. Michael Williams, President of UNT Health Science Center