The University of Chicago News Office
July 12, 2006 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359
morse@uchicago.edu
 

University of Chicago and Hospitals announce three child care providers to receive funding as part of pilot program

Three South Side child care providers have been named recipients of more than $400,000 in grant money through a first-time child care initiative of the University of Chicago and its Hospitals.

Baby Ph.D., Centers for New Horizons and Chicago Child Care Society were selected from a group of seven child care centers and home-based facilities that submitted proposals of expansion in an effort to increase local child care options for infants and toddlers.

Baby Ph.D. will receive $200,000; Chicago Child Care Society will receive $113,197; and Centers for New Horizons will receive $110,000.

The grant money will fund a variety of items for each provider, including an expansion of playground equipment and enhancement of outdoor space at Centers for New Horizons; the renovation of a kitchen at Chicago Child Care Society; and the start-up costs for creating additional South Side day care homes at Baby Ph.D.

Seventy additional infant and toddler slots will also be made available at the selected facilities: 12 at Centers for New Horizons; 12 at Chicago Child Care Society; and 46 at Baby Ph.D.

A 2002 survey of University and Hospital employees determined that most were satisfied with child care options for their 3-to-5-year-olds, but that they felt their care options for infants and young toddlers were too limited. But according to providers, child care for these younger children requires extra staffing and a more customized space, making it difficult to afford the added expense of including those children in their programs.

“This initiative provides a wonderful opportunity to solve an internal challenge, while at the same time providing resources for the community,” said Hank Webber, Vice President of Community and Government Affairs at the University. “This grant program will facilitate center expansion, create jobs and provide child care opportunities that might otherwise not exist. It is a great win-win for the University and our neighbors.”

Sarah Diwan, Owner and Director of Baby Ph.D., received her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, both in social work, before opening Baby Ph.D.

During and after working on her Ph.D., Diwan was employed as a researcher in the Department of Psychiatry, a position she left in order to open her own day care home after experiencing a “lack of high-quality day care options for parents living in this community,” she said.

“We have grown quickly over the past few years with help of valuable input from parents in the University and local mid-South Side communities,” she said, noting that 75 to 80 percent of her clients are University and Hospital employees.

Deborah Hagman-Shannon, Interim Assistant Director of Chicago Child Care Society, said, “We are very, very excited — both for the opportunity to expand our business and to continue our wonderful relationship with the University.”

Hagman-Shannon said that the grant money will fund the addition of a classroom, a music program, additional sessions with a storyteller and hire a social worker.

“This funding is getting us started on the path of growth,” she said. “And we all hope that this new relationship with the University and Hospitals will continue to develop.”

Joe Green, Director of External Affairs at Centers for New Horizons, said that it is a very exciting time for Centers for New Horizons.

“We are delighted to work with the University and its Hospitals and absolutely thrilled to continue exercising our strong commitment to serving this community,” Green said. “We continue to strive to meet the needs of these children and this grant will certainly allow us to further do so.”

Michael Tatelbame, Director of Recruitment and Employment Services at the at the Hospitals, said, “We are thrilled with the providers chosen by the selection committee. These are high-quality, reputable providers that will soon be able to offer additional slots for children of our employees that are close to work.”

Centers for New Horizons is located in North Kenwood; Chicago Child Care Society is located in Hyde Park; and Baby Ph.D., now based in Hyde Park, will be using the grant money to add home-based care centers in Woodlawn, Kenwood and Bronzeville.

A committee composed of faculty and staff advised on the initiative’s development with guidance from the Illinois Facilities Fund, a nonprofit corporation that provides real estate financing, development and research for nonprofits in Illinois.

The remaining money from the $1 million allocated by the University and its Hospitals is available for future grants to child care providers.

Additional information is available on each provider’s web page: http://BabyPhD.com, http://cnh.org and http://cccsociety.org.

 

http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/06/060712.childcare.shtml
Last modified at 12:58 PM CST on Wednesday, July 12, 2006.

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