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University decides not to turn over campus childcare centers (the Early Childhood Education Program) to Bright Horizons

Early Childhood Education Program (ECEP)

Dear Colleagues,

As some of you may be aware, changes are planned for the management of the campus Early Childhood Education Program (ECEP), which serves the needs of student, staff, and faculty families. We have decided that we will not pursue these changes with a short-term management contract with Bright Horizons. Instead, the restructuring, which is designed to stabilize and strengthen the overall operation of ECEP, will be led by the Residential and Student Services Programs (RSSP). Information and updates on the management and restructuring plan will be posted on the ECEP website, http://www.housing.berkeley.edu/child/.

The Chancellor and I are fully supportive of RSSP’s management planning, which is being led by Associate Vice Chancellor LeNorman Strong. We also recognize that ECEP is a valuable and distinctive early childhood education program. By successfully integrating research and model programs, it allows faculty, students and staff to work on campus knowing that their children are nearby and cared for in an enriching environment.

I am very pleased to announce that Professor Stephen Hinshaw has agreed to serve as a special adviser to AVC Strong during the management restructuring. Professor Hinshaw is a distinguished professor of psychology with a strong background in child psychology, and he is currently serving as the chair of the early childhood education taskforce of Berkeley’s Institute of Human Development. We are very fortunate that he has agreed to partner with AVC Strong to support ECEP.

Some faculty and ECEP parents along with the Faculty Welfare Committee of the Academic Senate, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Dependent Care, and the Academic Association of Women among others voiced concerns in recent weeks about the available options that have been considered for ECEP’s management and oversight. I understand those concerns, and I am convinced that the best way for the ECEP community to address them is to work with RSSP in its efforts to support the early childhood education centers. RSSP currently provides significant support in the form of administrative staff and facility services, and is making a major financial investment.

I thus join AVC Strong and Professor Hinshaw in inviting the help of the campus community, both to guide RSSP during the transition to a new management structure and to help form a long-term plan for the program’s future. AVC Strong and Professor Hinshaw will soon be seeking nominations of individuals to serve on committees that will help to shape both short-term and long-term strategies.

With the help of the community, I am confident that our remarkable early childhood education program can flourish.

George W. Breslauer

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

 

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