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Many colleges and universities have come to Mills Consulting Group for consultation on a variety of issues affecting their campus child care programs.

Our work with colleges and universities includes:

  • Studying management models
  • Feasibility studies for expansion
  • Benchmarking
  • Financial assessment and new budget development
  • Examining staffing and quality issues
  • Program start-up
  • Research on child care and work/life initiatives

Exemplary Projects:

Harvard University 
We have a long-standing working relationship with Harvard University’s Office of Work/Life Resources, providing them with research and consultation services to assist them on various child care initiative projects. One of these projects has been consultation on the expansion of child care on campus through new centers or increasing the number of slots in existing centers. Alongside the Work/Life Office we have partnered with the University facilities and real estate offices to research the most appropriate child care options regarding location, taking into consideration the cost, accessibility and availability of child care in the area. We have reviewed multiple sites, and developed budgets for various sized centers. We assisted them with decisions around organizational model for a new center, and worked on a template for an RFP should they choose to hire a vendor, and should they choose a non-profit model, we will work with them around considerations for supporting this model.

Williams College
Our work with Williams College included a variety of projects, focusing on examination of their (former) vendor-management model at their campus child care center. Our work began with benchmarking research on other campus child care, market rate research on area centers, and a complete program and management review and evaluation of their center, and preparation of comprehensive operating budgets for the three proposed models for the center: (1) college operated (2) a separate 501c3, (3) a third party vendor. Ultimately we worked closely with the VP of Operations Office in determining to shift their center to a college-managed model, and assisted Williams throughout this process of change. This subsequent phase of work included center start up consultation, from the hiring of a new director and teachers to ordering equipment, and policy writing for licensing with the State of Massachusetts.

Adelphi University
The University was interested in our consultation and research services in relation to their campus early learning center. Our objective was to provide the administration with findings and recommendations from research we conducted in order to help them to make decisions about the goals and objectives of the center as it moved forward. Our focus was to examine how the center could maintain a high level of quality care and education, become more fiscally knowledgeable, better understand its mission in relation to the University's role in educating its adult students, and could stay competitive in the market. We completed a core scope of work which included: reviews of the center's budgets and practices/policies; interviews with various Adelphi administrators and faculty, local early learning experts, center staff and parents; benchmarking research with peer institution campus centers; market research on local child care options; and research on quality ratings in New York and NAEYC accreditation. From our recommendations the administration has been able to begin to develop plans and prioritize their action steps moving forward.

Indiana University Bloomington
MCG provided consultation and research services to Indiana University Bloomington to examine the child care services operating at the University. The study provided IUB with information that was useful as they prepared to make important decisions about the goals and objectives of Campus Child Care Services, including maintaining a high level of quality child care, becoming more efficient and fiscally responsible in the delivery of child care services, understanding the relationship of child care services to the University at large, staying competitive in the market, being accessible to the IUB community, and strategic planning for the future. Various research and consultation tasks were completed that focused on a core scope of work, including reviews of IUB center budgets and strategic plans, conversations and interviews with key IUB representatives, benchmarking with peer institutions, child care market analyses, and other related research tasks. 

Yale University
Initially we were hired by Yale's Department of Human Resources to evaluate the feasibility of expansion of one of their smallest child care centers to twice the size. This entailed examining the administrative practices at the center, and developing expansion budgets. We then worked with their facilities department and architect regarding consideration of a new site, and assisted them in creating a chart of accounts to more accurately understand their expenses. In addition, we have completed child care market research, and benchmarking research against peer colleges.

Arizona State University
The ASU Child and Dependent Task Force provided a report of recommendations to the University, which included a recommendation for expansion of child care services. In turn, the University contacted Mills Consulting Group to perform an in-depth child care feasibility study. The study included:

  • A review and analysis of survey data, the Task Force report, University master plan and demographic information, and ASU’s current early childhood services
  • Interviews with architects and facilities planning, faculty members and staff, and representatives from the City of Tempe child care feasibility group
  • Meetings with representatives from invested campus groups
  • A determination of fiscal resources for expansion of child care services
  • A benchmarking study with peer universities to gather information on other campus child care services, such as the department under which the center operates, the number of slots available, waiting lists and funding streams
  • A written report and presentation with recommendations: our recommendations included expanding the number of slots in the Campus Children’s Center, administering the Center through a more visible location in the University, engaging an academic department to oversee operation of the center, and coordinating communication and enrollment procedures for all early childhood programs on campus.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
We were asked by University Child Care at UMass Amherst to review the early childhood services offered on campus, collect information via written survey from various constituencies at the University, benchmark with other state universities, and to provide options for various management models for the delivery of these services. Benchmarking research was completed with five peer institutions, which included Illinois State University, Portland State University (Oregon), University of Connecticut, University of Maryland, and University of New Hampshire. The overall goal of the research was to reduce the cost to the University while still maintaining high quality early childhood services. Research was conducted and key findings were presented, along with recommendations for various models, which included budget outlines, and the advantages/disadvantages for each model. Models ranged from modifications to the current center to outsourcing to a vendor, to restructuring or combining all campus early childhood services. The full report is available online. http://www.umass.edu/stuaf/childcarereport.htm

Stony Brook University, State University of New York
Mills Consulting Group was asked by Stony Brook University to conduct a review of their child care services, concentrating on financial and programmatic components. The goal was to determine if the services were operating in the most efficient and cost effective manner, consistent with a quality center. A comprehensive review was completed of the child care services program, financials, administration, and staffing ratios. The tuition sliding fee schedule was examined. Outreach was made to comparable campus child care centers to compare university support levels at the following institutions: University of Pittsburgh, California State in Los Angeles, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Indiana at Bloomington, and Ohio State University in Columbus. Funding sources from Stony Brook, grants and fundraising efforts were reviewed to determine future support and the cost/benefit. A final report provided insights and recommendations based on the research and findings by Mills Consulting Group.


Colleges and Universities we have served:

Adelphi University

Amherst College

Arizona State University

Auburn University

Binghamton University (SUNY)

Bowdoin College

Bridgewater State College

Brown University

University at Buffalo

Concordia University Chicago

Davidson College

George Mason University

Hampshire College

Harvard University

Harvard Medical School

Indiana University Bloomington

Iowa State University

Ivy Tech Community College

Johns Hopkins University

Kenne State College

University of Louisiana

University of Maryland

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mountwest Community and Technical College

New York University

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Oregon State University

Oxford College of Emory University

University of Pennsylvania Medicine

Stony Brook University (SUNY)

Syracuse University

University of Toledo

Tufts University

University of Washington Bothell

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Wheelock College

Williams College

Wichita State University

Yale University

 

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Mills Consulting Group, Inc.
191 Sudbury Rd Suite 30
Concord, Ma 01742

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Office: (978)369-2001
Fax: (978) 369-1741
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