higher ed

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 child care development for colleges and universities includes:

  • Feasibility studies for expansion of child care services
  • Benchmarking with peer institutions
  • Financial assessment and new budget development
  • Management model consultation
  • New and/or expanded child care center start-up consultation
  • Research on child care and work/life initiatives
  • Review of existing campus child care programs
  • Recruitment of key leadership for child care and work/life services positions

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 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 by increasing the number of slots in their existing centers. We have worked closely 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 continued this work with them as they examined developing new centers by reviewing space, interviewing architects, and developing in depth budgets for various sized centers. We also assisted with decisions around organizational model for a new center and worked on a template for an RFP for a vendor or non-profit provider. Other projects we have worked on have included benchmarking with peer institutions, research on the local child care market, and an analyses of inistutional funding of campus centers. In addition, we have consulted to thier six independent campus child care centers on a variety of program and management topics, and have assisted the Office in reviewing their relationships to the six campus centers.

Johns Hopkins University
We began our work with JHU by providing research and consultation services regarding the feasiblity of establishing a child care center to serve faculty and staff at their Homewood campus location. Our work plan included benchmarking with peer institutions, development of start up and operating budgets, review of space needs, and a timetable for project completion. As the project continued, we worked closely with the JHU facilities department in determing space, the use of modular units for the center, assisted with the development of an RFP for potential vendors and assisted with vendor interviews. We work hand in hand with the project team as they readied their plan and successfully opened the new child care center. Most recently we have worked with JHU’s human resources office in determing next steps regarding the organizational structure at their affiliated early education program which abuts their School of Medicine.

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 for the University.