NC State Extends Contract With Child Care Provider, Plans To Announce Agreement With Second Provider

Childcare

Just as parents are showing interest in reenrolling their children in child care, NC State has extended an agreement with one child care provider and plans to announce an agreement with another provider soon.

NC State and Bright Horizons have agreed to extend their partnership — which gives eligible NC State staff and faculty special tuition rates and priority access to child care slots — through June 30, 2022. The new agreement takes effect July 1.

The partnership’s benefits for employees are available at Bright Horizons’ nine Triangle-area locations. Seventy-two priority access slots are currently available at those locations.

Bright Horizons is one of several child care providers that participate in the NC State child care program. The participating centers offer benefits to NC State staff and faculty, including monthly tuition discounts, fee waivers and priority access to child care slots. Some of those facilities offer NC State students the same benefits they extend to employees.

University Human Resources, which manages the child care program, is currently working to finalize a new partnership with KinderCare. When that agreement goes into effect, KinderCare will offer a 10% tuition discount to NC State students, staff, faculty and alumni who enroll children at any of its 1,500 centers nationwide. Of those facilities, 60 are in North Carolina. UHR will send out a universitywide announcement when the KinderCare agreement is finalized.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many parents to disenroll their children from child care programs for a variety of reasons, such as losing their jobs or as a precaution against infection. In addition, the pandemic forced many employers, including NC State, to tell some employees to work from home rather than in offices. Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available, some employers are asking workers to return to the office. As a result, parents are reenrolling their children in child care programs.

In the fall, NC State is planning to return to pre-pandemic modes of course delivery, residence living and overall operations as much as possible. Because some employees may need to adjust to being back on campus before the fall semester begins, the university plans to return to on-site operations to the greatest extent possible by July 6.

“There is an uptick in interest in our child care programs and in child care availability in general in Wake and the surrounding counties,” said Britt Hurst, wellness and recreation program manager at NC State. “As everyone in the Triangle goes back to an in-person work setting, we anticipate a significant increase in child care enrollment, which is why our partnerships with these centers are so critical.”

In accordance with the renewed contract with Bright Horizons, NC State will continue to pay a percentage-based subsidy on Bright Horizons’ tuition rates. Bright Horizons’ tuition rates are based on family income level, which is verified annually by Bright Horizons. Rates are subject to increase annually.

From July 1 through June 30, 2022, NC State will continue to provide an 11% subsidy on rates for families with a total income of $70,000 or more per year. For families whose income is less than $70,000 per year, NC State will increase the subsidy on their rates from 31% to 35%.

Please view this chart to see the tuition rates that will take effect July 1 and the discount that will be applied. The listed rates are based on full-time child care, which is five days per week.

The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, which is located in Raleigh near NC State, also participates in the child care program. Whenever an eligible NC State employee enrolls a child at the school, NC State pays the enrollment fees, and the employee receives a 5% tuition discount.

More than 40 other providers participate in the child care program. To see a list of those providers, go to the child care resources webpage. All the providers listed have earned at least a three-star rating under the state of North Carolina’s child care center rating system.

NC State hopes the benefits offered through the child care program will be helpful to employees who may need to find a child care provider soon. If you plan to enroll your child in a child care center, you should begin your selection process now.