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Bright Horizons to manage child care programs

MIT will be more closely involved in the provision of campus child care services as a result of administrative changes that will take place as early as July. The move anticipates a major child care expansion effort that will more than double MIT's child care capacity and add infant care.

The changes include the selection of an outside child care management firm, Bright Horizons, to work with MIT to expand and reorganize child care.

MIT's two campus child care programs, as well as the operation of the new child care center under construction in the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, will be affected.

The decision follows recommendations by the provost's 12-member child care committee, headed by Chancellor Philip L. Clay, that were reviewed by Academic Council.

"The effort to expand and re-organize campus child care is a significant step forward in support of faculty, staff, post-doctoral and student families who face a serious shortage of quality child care services, particularly for infants and toddlers," said Clay.

Technology Children's Center, Inc. (TCC), a non-profit organization led by a volunteer board of directors, has operated child care programs in MIT graduate family housing facilities at Eastgate and Westgate since 1970.

Anne E.C. McCants, the Leitch Associate Professor of History and associate housemaster of Green Hall, is president of the TCC Board.

"We expect this management change to preserve and strengthen the exceptional program, philosophy and staff we have developed at TCC," said McCants. "Change can be difficult, but the new resources are tremendous, and we're committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for TCC families and staff."


MIT is building a new child care center in the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, designed by Frank Gehry. The Stata child care center, scheduled to open in January 2004, will add at least 73 slots to TCC's 59, and will introduce infant care to campus.

As part of its charge, the Clay committee was asked to develop recommendations regarding management of the new Stata child care center and its relationship to TCC.

"The child care committee and the TCC board of directors felt that a single campus management system, coordinated by MIT, would provide better program planning and ease access for parents," said Kathy Simons, a member of the committee and co-manager of the Center for Work, Family and Personal Life (formerly the Family Resource Center). "The new system offers greater resources for teachers and will significantly strengthen management to handle the expansion."

Simons will coordinate the re-organization and oversee campus child care programs for MIT.

The child care committee selected Bright Horizons, a child care management firm, to work with Simons.

"Bright Horizons has significant expertise and resources to assist with the opening of a new center and the management of multiple sites," said Laura Avakian, vice president for Human Resources. "Kathy and her team are in discussions with Bright Horizons about how we can draw on their expertise while remaining closely involved. MIT and Bright Horizons hold the same core values and goals around high quality child care, including the importance of great staff and parent involvement."

Bright Horizons' other clients include Johns Hopkins, Duke and George Washington universities, Beth Israel Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital and New York Hospital.

Further information about MIT's child care initiative is available by contacting Simons at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 3, 2002.

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