Two Philadelphia Marathons

This polar bear snuck into many of the photos staff took to update families about the transition.

This polar bear snuck into many of the photos staff took to update families about the transition.

At 12 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, the on-campus child care center at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital in the heart of Philadelphia officially changed hands from Bright Horizons to CCLC, and while participants in the Philadelphia Marathon ran past the center, KU’s team, including CCLC Regional Director Andrew Cohen, Director of Portfolio Management Nyssa Bradford Mundy, Center Director Regina Schaefer, Assistant Center Director Laura Cooper, and the center’s teaching team kicked off their own marathon inside.

The team had their work cut out for them. Everything they needed to turn a vacated space into an amazing place for kids to learn and grow was neatly packed in cardboard boxes, but first, they had to tackle scrubbing away years of grime, while the fantastic KU Facilities team, including maintenance technicians Bobby Williams and Bill Makara, set to work changing light bulbs and repairing everything from broken plumbing to busted classroom cabinets.

The team labored away setting up new classrooms and making the center sparkle with a fresh coat of paint, while parents stopped by with goodies for the workers and to sneak a peek at the changes. All weekend long the KU team sent photo updates to the center’s families. They even snuck a stuffed polar bear into several of the shots – and later used the bear to welcome children back into the center.

The center’s management team passed their state licensing visit on Monday with flying colors, and on Tuesday morning, after three days of round-the-clock work to transform the center, Jefferson Child Care Center re-opened to families as a CCLC center, and kids immediately set off on a “bear hunt” in search of the furry friend they had seen in the photos sent to their parents over the weekend. At the end they were surprised with a pizza and popsicle celebration.

Nearly every family stayed with the center through the transition, and almost all of the teachers who worked at the center under previous management transferred to CCLC to stay with the kids and families they loved. Center families and the client were amazed by what the KU team was able to accomplish in such a short time. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and KU is looking forward to a growing relationship serving Jefferson families.

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