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Bright Horizons, an organization specializing in early childhood education and employer-sponsored childcare, will take over management of the Kidopolis Child Development Center, which is currently under Tulane’s control, next week.

As a result of the change in management, Kidopolis faculty will no longer receive the benefits associated with being Tulane employees, but all of the current staff members with the exception of the Tulane students are guaranteed jobs with Bright Horizons.

Kidopolis Childcare Center operates in downtown New Orleans and provides care for children ages 6 months through 5 years. The majority of parents utilizing the center are affiliated with Tulane’s Health Sciences programs. After the sudden resignation of longtime Director Laurie Richter, Tulane decided to turn the center over to Bright Horizons. Anne Ba?±os, Tulane vice president for administrative services and chief of staff, said choosing Bright Horizons to take over the management of the center was the best option.

“We were very concerned about recruiting leadership,” Ba?±os said. “We brought Bright Horizons in, and we asked them to help us in the interim and with the program. We were very pleased with what they did, and we decided to have them manage the center going forward.”

Staff members of Kidopolis will retain their current salaries and seniority positions under Bright Horizons. Ba?±os said the transition will be beneficial for parents and faculty.

“Bright Horizons is nationally known as a leader,” Ba?±os said. “They are particularly known for their reliance on the Emergent Curriculum, which is the best practice for child development.”

Kidopolis teacher Tonya Pruett said she is impressed with Bright Horizons and believes the company’s management of the center will improveme it.

“Kidopolis is already a very unique, great place, but Bright Horizons is going to make it even better,” Pruett said. “The way that we communicate and educate the children, they’ll teach us how to do that better. We had one professional day with them, and they taught us very small things to do with the kids to help our days go better and to help their days go much better.”

Astrid Kincaid, Kidopolis parent and Tulane senior research analyst, said she was concerned about the change in management and the effect it will have on the quality of the teachers and the Tulane students working there. Kincaid said she was under the impression that Tulane students received a tuition waiver while working at Kidopolis.

“That’s the one part that I’m upset about,” Kincaid said. “That these women may be losing their tuition waivers and undesirably so. And then the other thing is, obviously it’s an incentive for hiring better childcare workers, and I would think a lot of the younger, better-qualified girls were there because of the tuition waiver. We’re worried as parents that in the future the quality of teacher that we’re paying for is going to be a lot less than it is right now.”

Ba?±os, however, said Tulane never offered students a tuition waiver for working at Kidopolis. The waiver was only offered for Tulane faculty and staff members.

“When you are not an employee of Tulane, you cannot receive a tuition waiver,” Ba?±os said. “But Bright Horizons has a tuition reimbursement program. It’s not the same program, but they do have tuition assistance for employees, and theirs is portable. So you can use it at Tulane, or you can use it at Loyola or wherever you want to go.”

Staff members of Kidopolis will lose the sick days they have accumulated once the center is turned over to Bright Horizons, and their insurance will be slightly more expensive. Pruett speculated that the staff members who are responding negatively to the change in management are worried about change in general.

“I feel like [this] is affecting negatively because they’ve been there for so long, and change is scary for a lot of people,” Pruett said. “It seems like [sick days] are such a minor thing to be negative about. With the previous director leaving, they’re just used to things being her way, and I think they’re scared of the change.”

Since the announcement of the transfer of management to Bright Horizons, one Tulane student quit her job at the center. The rest of the staff has remained and will be employed by Bright Horizons.