GAINESVILLE - After serving the children of Northeast Georgia Health System employees for almost 46 years, the Child Care Center for NGHS will close next spring.
"This was a very difficult decision for our senior leadership team to make and one that was only made after months of research and due diligence," said Carol Burrell, NGHS President and CEO., in a press statement.
The center, located at 1215 Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville, opened in 1967, according to NGHS spokeswoman Melissa Tymchuk. She said the Child Care Center currently serves 102 children, most of them children of NGHS employees. Tymchuk said 14 children are from the nearby community, enrolled in a state-run pre-K program.
Burrell said the decision to close the facility is a product of the issues facing healthcare organizations as they prepare for the challenging future ahead.
"Hospitals across the country are going through tough deliberations like this," she said. "The timing of this decision is based on the fact that our Child Care Center facilities are past their useful life, and we were forced to make a determination about the Center's future."
The estimated cost of a newer building is about $1.5 million, according to NGHS. In addition, the organization absorbs an approximate $300,000 annual subsidy on the Child Care Center operations, due to longer center hours to accommodate 12-hour shift employees and a comprehensive employee benefits package that is standard in health care but not child care.
"We were facing a $4 million cost during the next 10 years, and we had to weigh this cost with how many of our employees were accessing that benefit," said Burrell.
Burrell pointed out that the decision to close the center is not a reflection of the quality of care the Center staff provides.
"We are extremely proud of the dedicated staff who provide exceptional instruction to the children in their care