SMUD, Sacramento State and UC Davis Health partner on new child development center
The need for the new facility arose out of a shortage of licensed childcare facilities in the area—Sacramento County only has enough licensed child care for 27 percent of young children with working parents, according to the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network.
“We recognize the pressing need for additional childcare services in our region. This three-way collaboration among SMUD, Sacramento State and UC Davis Health leverages our collective resources to expand high-quality childcare services for our employees and the community we all serve. It’s a win-win for the partners and the community,” said SMUD CEO and GM Arlen Orchard.
“When I arrived here a year ago and started my listening tour, I quickly realized that better child care was a major need for our employees, trainees and doctors. It’s my hope this new partnership, sponsored by three major employers in this area, will help to alleviate some of that burden on our faculty, staff and students,” said David Lubarsky, chief executive officer of UC Davis Health. “We will all be looking forward to the opening of this new child care center.”
Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen expressed his support for the new center. “Having day care opportunities for faculty and staff at Sacramento State has long been desired by the Hornet Family,” Nelsen said. “I am so pleased that this opportunity has come together and I cannot wait to see the center open.”
SMUD’s need to transition the Lighthouse Child Development Center, which is located on the SMUD campus on S Street, compelled SMUD to reach out to other major local employers to explore a solution. The building that has been home to Lighthouse for more than a quarter century has reached end of life and will close when the new center opens.
The SMUD, Sac State and UC Davis Health partnership will bring 100 new quality child care spaces to Sacramento, doubling the capacity of Lighthouse and reducing the shortage of quality child care options available to working families. The new child care center will feature a new playground and more space. The center will be a member of and follow the standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC aims to promote high-quality learning for children.
All children currently enrolled at the Lighthouse will be guaranteed a space at the new facility. Remaining spaces will be made available to SMUD, Sac State and UC Davis employees. Each partner will have one-third of the total spaces to offer its employees.
Sacramento State’s share of child-care placement will be in addition to child care opportunities represented by the center operating on its campus. The spaces allocated to Sac State will be offered to faculty and staff with children. If any of those spots remain open, they could possibly be made available to students with children that are wait-listed for the on-campus child care center. However, the main goal is for the new opportunities to go to faculty and staff.
UC Davis Health’s new partnership will augment the current child care offerings provided to employees and students. Equal priority will be given to current UC Davis employees and students, including residents, fellows, post-docs, faculty, staff and visiting scholars, both on the Davis and Sacramento campuses. Waitlists will be managed by the child care center operator. Any remaining slots will be offered to the other partners or the community.
SMUD will continue offering spaces on a priority basis to employees and in the event there are unfilled spaces SMUD will make them available to the community. More information about pricing and enrollment will be made available in the coming months.