Business & Real Estate

SMUD, Sac State, UC Davis partner to open new East Sacramento child care center

A new child development facility is planned in East Sacramento through a partnership between local energy utility SMUD, Sacramento State and the University of California, Davis.

The facility, which will provide child care for up to 208 children, is scheduled to open at 6011 Folsom Blvd. in early 2021, according to a SMUD news release.

SMUD said a lack of licensed child care facilities in the region drove the need for a new facility, citing California Child Care Resource & Referral Network figures that state only 27 percent of young children with working parents in Sacramento County are accommodated by current infrastructure.

The new child care facility will primarily serve employees from the three partnered organizations, but may also serve students at the universities and the general public. Each partner will have one-third of the total available spaces to offer employees.

“We recognize the pressing need for additional childcare services in our region,” SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard said in a prepared statement. “This three-way collaboration among SMUD, Sacramento State and UC Davis Health leverages our collective resources to expand high-quality childcare services for our employees and the community we all serve. It’s a win-win for the partners and the community.”

SMUD’s on-site child care facility, the Lighthouse Child Development Center, will be closing when the new facility opens. It will have twice the capacity of Lighthouse, according to the release.

All children currently enrolled at Lighthouse will be guaranteed spots at the new facility and SMUD will continue to give employees priority enrollment, but if there are unfilled spaces, they will be open to the community, according to the release.

Sacramento State, which has its own on-campus child care, will give priority enrollment at the new facility to faculty and staff, and remaining spaces may be given to students.

“Having day care opportunities for faculty and staff at Sacramento State has long been desired by the Hornet Family,” university President Robert S. Nelsen said in a prepared statement. “I am so pleased that this opportunity has come together and I cannot wait to see the center open.”

UC Davis will be giving equal enrollment priority to both employees and students, and remaining spots will be given to other partners or the community, according to the release.

“When I arrived here a year ago and started my listening tour, I quickly realized that better child care was a major need for our employees, trainees and doctors. It’s my hope this new partnership, sponsored by three major employers in this area, will help to alleviate some of that burden on our faculty, staff and students,” UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky said in a prepared statement. “We will all be looking forward to the opening of this new child care center.”

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.