For Immediate Release: December 9, 2021

SMUD, Sac State and UC Davis Health break ground on child development center

East Sacramento facility doubles current childcare capacity

On Friday, SMUD, Sacramento State and UC Davis Health will celebrate the groundbreaking of a new child development center in East Sacramento, which is scheduled to open in 2022.

With an enrollment capacity of about 200, the 17,000-square-foot center will feature modern, child-friendly amenities and accommodate children ages 0-4. The new center will have more than 15,000-square feet of outdoor space where children can learn and play – including a new playground and children’s garden designed by UC Davis with sensory and edible plants – helping meet a growing need for high-quality childcare in the Sacramento region.

What: Child Development Center groundbreaking 
When: Noon, Friday, December 10, 2021
 Where:  6011 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento
  • SMUD CEO and General Manager Paul Lau
  • Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen
  • Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer of UC Davis Health Christine Lovely
  • SMUD Board President Nancy Bui-Thompson
  • Sacramento City Councilmembers

“SMUD is proud to partner with community leaders to find solutions for the shortage of high-quality childcare services in our area,” said Paul Lau, SMUD CEO and general manager. “Combining forces with Sacramento State and UC Davis Health will expand access to an essential community need at a critical juncture in the region’s recovery. SMUD will continue to be a positive force in our community as parents get back to in-person work and young children return to safe and stimulating environments that allow them to grow, thrive and develop alongside their peers.”

“We’re excited to join with SMUD and Sacramento State to help address the shortage of available licensed childcare for working families in our area,” said CEO of UC Davis Health and Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences David Lubarsky. “At UC Davis Health we are committed to supporting the well-being of our employees and their families. We hope this new center will help parents rest assured they can work, their children can learn, and everyone will benefit."

“Now more than ever, families need a safe option for childcare,” said Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen. “I am excited that we are breaking ground on this life-changing project, and I cannot wait to see the center open. This partnership with SMUD and UC Davis Health represents another example of our Anchor University Initiative at work. The new childcare center will benefit our staff and faculty while deepening and strengthening our impact on the region.”

Sacramento State’s University Enterprises, Inc., experienced in school-related construction, selected SW Allen Construction, Inc. for renovations of the existing Folsom Boulevard property, which SMUD has leased. Now, the three partners are in the process to select a childcare operator who will obtain National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation for the center.

Lighthouse Child Development Center, located on the SMUD campus on S Street, will close, having served families for more than a quarter century. All children currently enrolled at Lighthouse will be guaranteed a space at the new facility and current staff will also have an opportunity to join the new center. Employees and affiliates of the partnership will receive enrollment priority followed by the community at-large. Enrolled families will enjoy quality care with low teacher-to-child ratios and market tuition rates.

More information about pricing and enrollment will be made available in the coming months.

About SMUD

As the nation’s sixth-largest, community-owned, not-for-profit electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Sacramento County for more than 75 years. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. In 2020, SMUD’s power supply was more than 60 percent carbon free and SMUD has a goal to reach zero carbon in its electricity supply by 2030.