Prodigies Child Care Management LLC, which owns and operates Little Prodigies in Athens, has been chosen through a competitive process to be the provider of child care services for the new university child care center to open on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in January.
The center will be open to the children of all faculty, staff and students as well as children from the community, if space allows. The center will serve 146 children ages 6 weeks through 4, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. A sliding tuition scale based on family income will make the center more accessible to a larger, and more diverse, cross section of the UGA community. Up to 20 percent of the children may qualify for a discounted rate.
“We are pleased to be able to fulfill this significant need of our faculty, staff and students,” said Tim Burgess, senior vice president for finance and administration. “Our selection team, comprised of faculty and staff representatives including child development experts and parents, went through a rigorous process to identify which private company would provide the best quality services and the most feasible economic model, based on a sound business plan. We look forward to working with the child care professionals of Little Prodigies.”
The center will be licensed by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning and will meet the National Association for the Education of Young Children standards in the areas of curriculum and staffing, including student to teacher ratios, group size and continuing education for teachers.
“We are a local company with experience in running a center that caters to many UGA students, staff, faculty and local Athenians,” said Wes Zwirn, owner of Little Prodigies. “We understand the eclectic lifestyles of our families and the expectations they have with regards to the care of their children. Our goal is to offer first-class child care, and we are eager to become a part of the new UGA Health Sciences Campus.”
In 2008, UGA conducted a comprehensive child care needs assessment study to better understand the needs of its faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students. The survey findings, focus group participant feedback and community supply analysis supported the need for additional university-sponsored child care: 74 percent of all survey respondents said they would be very likely to use a university-sponsored child care center, and 92 percent of all survey respondents supported the development of a university-sponsored center. The focus groups pointed to the inherent benefits a campus-sponsored child care center would have on recruiting and retaining talented faculty and students, as well as improving productivity.
A faculty-staff child care advisory committee will be formed in the coming months. The committee will work with UGA Human Resources and Prodigies Child Care Management to ensure that the needs of the campus community are being met on a continuous basis.