"Not many people think of child care when they think about supporting cutting-edge research, but the new center is a critical facility for faculty and researchers with families," said Kathy L. Simons, senior program manager for child care services and work-life policy at the MIT Work-Life Center. “We're very excited to open this state-of-the-art child care center that will dramatically expand our capacity to serve the MIT community."
The Koch Childcare Center is located at 219 Vassar St. It will add an additional 126 spaces for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, for a total of 268 TCC spaces on campus and 127 in Lexington.
Koch’s and Charles Johnson’s interest in the project stemmed from their involvement as members of the Biology Visiting Committee, one of 31 such committees that act as advisors to the MIT Corporation and that meet to determine what issues might most benefit from the attention of the MIT administration. During one of the committee’s biannual meetings on campus, in 2011, Koch said, he and Johnson and their fellow committee members learned that MIT needed more child care in order to meet the needs of faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students — and in order for MIT to be able to attract and retain talent generally.
“I am thrilled that we were able to move so quickly from conception to construction for a new child care center on the MIT campus,” Koch said. “Now that the doors are open, this facility can provide the support our faculty and students with families need in order to make great contributions to the world.”
The Technology Childcare Centers are administered by the MIT Work-Life Center and managed by Bright Horizons Family Solutions. TCC includes the new Koch Childcare Center, Eastgate Childcare Center (with an infant classroom at North Court), Stata Childcare Center, Westgate Cooperative Preschool, and Lincoln Childcare Center (near Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington). Scholarships are available for qualifying families through the MIT Childcare Scholarship Programs for Employees, Postdoctoral Associates, and Postdoctoral Fellows. Simons noted that for 2013-14, MIT has increased the income cap for eligibility.
“This is a very good day for the MIT community,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said. “Our Visiting Committee structure is designed to help the MIT Corporation hear from our faculty, postdocs, and students about what’s important at MIT, and what we see at today’s dedication ceremony is a wonderful result of that careful approach. David Koch, along with Chuck and Jennifer Johnson, met an acute need with swift thinking and generosity, to the great benefit of the Institute.”
The establishment of the Koch Childcare Center is just one aspect of MIT's growing support for employees with families. The MIT Work-Life Center offers several other child care services, including a program that makes back-up child care and adult care available to benefits-eligible employees 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, go to http://hrweb.mit.edu/worklife/welcome.
In July, the MIT Work-Life Center introduced a new one-year pilot program offering subsidized back-up child care to MIT graduate student families.
“We truly view our work as directly supporting the intellectual enterprise of MIT,” Simons said.
For more information on Technology Childcare Centers at MIT, visit childcare.mit.edu.