Georgetown University Child Care Expansion
We write as representatives of the Hoya Kids Learning Center wait list parents and Georgetown University at large to advocate for: 1. Securing additional space for Georgetown University main campus child care; 2. Establishing partnerships with accredited childcare providers (e.g. Bright Horizons) to increase accessibility to childcare in the absence of a larger on-campus facility. This should include infant care and back-up care. As the largest private employer in the District, GU should provide its employees access to attainable and reliable childcare. Parents are swiftly faced with the shortage of childcare options in the DC area and additional stress while securing care for children in order to return to work. GU does not offer any options for infant care and its sole main campus option, HKLC, is too small to suit the needs of the campus. HKLC is a resource established in 1997 to provide “crucial support for University personnel and students who seek to balance work and family responsibilities.” Throughout the past 15 years, the demand for the high-quality childcare provided by HKLC has risen. HKLC is widely used as a faculty recruiting tool by university departments, and advertised as a distinguishing benefit on GU’s public website. However, it is a rare privilege, not a benefit, realized only after joining the GU community. For example, this summer HKLC had 11 spots available in the toddler classroom (their youngest group), 4 promised to siblings of other HKLC children, leaving 7 available to the luckiest non-siblings at the top of a 51 person waiting list (ranked by birth date). There is also an additional 50+ (and growing) list of children who are not yet old enough to enroll. Parents are informed that a typical waiting period to be considered for a spot in HKLC is approximately 2 years, which demonstrates a high demand that warrants the exploration of expansion. It is in fact harder to get into HKLC (13.7% acceptance rate for non-siblings) than the university as a freshman (16.5%). Finding additional space for childcare is an expensive and challenging undertaking well worth exploring. In the interim, we hope that Georgetown will consider establishing partnerships with existing childcare providers in the area. This should include but not be limited to infant care, which is a population currently not being supported by the university, and back-up care. The main goal here is to strengthen work/life balance in support of the values adhered to by Georgetown.