West Lafayette, Ind., is a quintessential college town, home to Purdue University and a large population of “Purdue lifers”: alumnae who settled in the area, started families of their own, and now work at their alma mater.
What West Lafayette doesn’t have much of is space in local early childhood education centers for young children, particularly infants. That’s all about to change with the addition of a new childcare center on the Purdue campus run by CCLC.
The new center – scheduled to open later this year – will join the Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center, hosting the children of Purdue employees and students. Together, the two centers will have space for more than 200 of Purdue’s youngest learners.
Until a few months ago, the Patty Jischke center – named for the beloved wife of a former university president – was run by Bright Horizons. In November 2015 Purdue chose to switch operators to CCLC in a transfer that was “mind-blowing” in its smoothness and level of coordination between Bright Horizons and CCLC staff, according to Kathy Halter, CCLC portfolio manager. 100 percent of the families, teachers, and staff stayed with the center, proving just how tightly knit the center community is.
“Purdue’s investment in creating lifelong learning opportunities was what made them so appealing as a potential client,” said Halter. “When you look around and realize that many of these center parents were once Purdue students, and they formed such a connection with the university that they decided to stay in West Lafayette and raise their own families here that really speaks to the community connections each of our centers create. We can’t wait to grow alongside Purdue.”
In many ways, this new partnership between CCLC and Purdue is like a homecoming. Jack Wallace, CCLC client relationship manager, helped open the Jischke center 7 years ago.
“As part of Purdue’s continued commitment to expand child care services to meet the work-life demands of our faculty, staff and students, we are pleased to partner with CCLC at the Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center,” said Candace Shaffer, Purdue’s benefits administrator for family programming. “We feel that CCLC’s proven track record of providing high quality care and education, integrating with higher education institutions and developing programs built on an institution’s culture and unique needs makes them a valuable resource for our community.”
Both the Jischke center and the new childcare center are located just inside the new main campus entrance. When the new center opens later this year, children and their parents will be able to walk from one center to the other and over to the nearby community center – a popular place for families – forming what’s locally referred to as the Purdue village, a fitting title for a university that understands it takes a village to raise a child.