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CARE: Community and Recreation for Employees

Childcare at L&C? SIF grant funds feasibility study

August 01, 2013

Lewis & Clark Kids and Families (LCKF) received $12,500 from the President’s Strategic Initiative Fund (SIF) to study the feasibility of developing and operating a high-quality on-site child development center to serve children of faculty, staff, and students. 

On March 1, 2013, LCKF turned in a detailed memo to Vice President for Business and Finance Carl Vance demonstrating the need for opening a childcare center on campus. The memo recommended that consultant Margaret Browning be hired to begin planning efforts for an economically viable childcare center with strategic benefits for the institution. Browning has started three centers for children—and with all three she led and worked with teams to design and implement a childcare program, facility, and play yards. She was also hired to turn around the Helen Gordon Child Development Center at PSU, and successfully developed it as a premier program in the Northwest. 

The SIF money was awarded in June and Browning began working with LCKF committee members in summer 2013.

The proposed Lewis & Clark program would provide an innovative care and education setting for infants through pre-kindergarten age, staffed by degreed and experienced early childhood educators. Operating budget would be based on parent fees. The program would operate year-round, M-F, with closures for holidays and in-service. In addition to offering full-time care, the program would offer part-time care dependent on two families splitting a full-time slot (typically Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - OR - Tuesday and Thursday slots).

During a two-week period in November 2013, an institution-wide survey collected more than 800 responses from faculty, staff, and students. Results are currently being analyzed and will be presented to the Executive Council before the end of the academic year.

LCKF childcare committee members include:

Jessica Charles, Director of the Office of Strategic Partnership and Clinical Placement

Janet Davidson, Associate Professor of Psychology

Vanessa Holmgren, Director of Internal Communications

Jennifer LaBounty, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Damian Miller, Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Program Assessment

Madeline Pruett, Director of Annual Giving

Billy Walker, Executive Assistant to the VP and Treasurer

Sarah Warren, Assistant Professor of Sociology

For more information, contact Vanessa Holmgren (x7992 or

Join the LCKF Google group