Penn increases childcare options for University, West Philly communities

Daycare at Penn

Finding reliable, affordable daycare for preschoolers is a challenge for most working parents. Now, thanks to Penn’s contributions to two neighborhood childcare centers, 100 more children can be cared for safely and securely while their parents are at work.

The new childcare slots –- 50 for Penn employees and 50 for West Philadelphia parents not affiliated with the University –- are now available at the Parent Infant Center (PIC), 42nd and Spruce streets, and at the Caring Center, 3101 Spring Garden St. Both locations are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and have deep roots in University City with a commitment to ethnic, cultural and economic diversity.

The Parent Infant Center had already launched a capital campaign to admit 50 more children and create a new children’s library, parenting library and teacher’s resource center. Penn, as landlord to the Parent Infant Center, provided infrastructure improvements for this expansion, which now enables PIC to serve 187 children.

Penn’s contributions to the Caring Center, which currently serves 160 infants and preschoolers, will help the facility expand its program into an adjacent building.

Both sites accept children ages 6 weeks through 5 years, but the Caring Center also houses an Enrichment Center to care for 56 preschoolers and school-age children up to 8 years of age.

Each center also offers tuition assistance to eligible employees. Families enrolling at PIC can apply for scholarship assistance. Priority is given to families whose income is between 235 to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

Many families using the Caring Center already receive subsidies through either the state or school district. The Center can also arrange for need-based tuition for those who are ineligible for public subsidies but still need assistance.

These facilities are independent of Penn’s Children Center, located in the lower level of the Left Bank, 3160 Chestnut St. This NAEYC-accredited, on-campus center enrolls 187 children, ages 12 weeks up to kindergarten, and offers tuition assistance for Penn faculty and staff who meet certain eligibility requirements.

Originally published on May 13, 2010