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Childcare Micro-Center Pilot Characteristics/Roles For Employers

Are Your Employees Experiencing Childcare Challenges?

A new child care program called Micro-Centers is being piloted across the Central Oregon region. It helps employers provide certified quality child care for their employees either at their business, or a centralized location.

What is a Micro-Center?

A Micro-Center is a one-classroom, child care setting that is established in an existing space and typically serves from 6-16 children per site.  It can range from the traditional (home day care) to the non-traditional (office building, community facility, higher education classroom, hospital, school and more).  The locations or “host sites” assist with overhead costs by supplying the space rent free or at a reduced rate and agree to cover maintenance and janitorial costs.  They can also offer or help to secure donations for furniture, equipment, and other supplies.

Host sites’ employees are often the clients of the Micro-Center. The various Micro-Center locations are operated or supported by an independent operator with the capacity to recruit and/or manage staff, enrollment, human resource benefits, business management, fundraising, and assures compliance with licensing and quality care standards.

More information on Micro-Center management can be found at:  https://opportunities-exchange.org/wp-content/uploads/OpEx_2019_MicroCenterNetworkStrategy.pdf

What is expected of participating Employers?

  • Enroll employees and potentially offer to outside families. Have a good idea of your employees childcare needs including number of spots needed, age and desired schedule for care.
  • Offer on-site space as a child care area. If an on-site space cannot be provided but you would still like to participate in the pilot, it’s possible we can find a partnering off-site location. Please contact us at the information below to discuss options.
  • If partnering with an off-site location, and rent is not included from Micro-Center Host site, the employer is asked to pay full or an agreed upon portion of the rental fee.
  • If an employer is in a position to offer additional assistance beyond rent, an employer may contribute to supporting tuition, contributing to a living wage for staff, supplies, furnishings, or renovations if needed.
  • Commit to a 6-month minimum pilot contract.
  • For on-site locations, be prepared to ideally have an attached bathroom, sink and access to kitchen for food preparation, and potentially access to a nearby fenced-in outdoor play area (this could be a section of fenced off parking lot space, short walk to a nearby park, or onsite grassy/natural area).
  • Support potential renovations, equipment and furnishings.
  • Collaborate with the Micro-Center Hub to ensure compliance with requirements to operate.
  • Consistent communication with Micro-Center Hub.
  • Support from Accelerator position, Megan Norris, Micro-Center Nexus and Steering Committee members to ensure program success.

Please contact Megan Norris at megan@centraloregonchildcare.com for more information.

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