At the forefront of the on-site child care frontier.
A global oil industry giant with an office in Anchorage, Alaska, BP is also a pioneer in employer-sponsored child care. They’ve been offering child care at their Anchorage office since the early 1990s and built their own on-site center, the BP Early Learning Center, in 1999.
With a long history of providing child care for their employees, BP Alaska already had a good handle on how to be a great employer. When they started working with KinderCare Education in 2010, they weren’t necessarily looking to solve a problem, but rather to build even more on their commitment of offering high-quality child care to their families.
As our relationship with BP Alaska grew, Traci Real, the facilities and services manager, noticed the difference in the quality of KinderCare’s proprietary curriculum, our family engagement philosophy, and a deep commitment to inclusion. “The KinderCare team empowered our teachers and our center director, and made us all feel like we were part of a team. It’s been amazing. Our engagement has gone up with our families—they all feel welcomed, heard, and valued.”
In fact, things began going so well for the center that it’s now filled to capacity and has a 24-family waitlist. That is, it had a waitlist. Traci and her team came up with a cost-effective solution to turn existing space into three infant rooms, so that no family had to wait for care. BP values their families and wants them to feel supported. Along with
additional toddler rooms and a Pre-K program, the new infant suite will help BP’s families get back to work. Getting to that point wasn’t necessarily easy, though. For example, gathering permits and licenses for a child care center within an office building was out of the norm for the city. According to Traci, “Our center, that’s within a building, is an unusual setup for Anchorage.” However, her team diligently worked with the city’s municipality to make it happen—because after all, like true pioneers, they persevere even when the going gets tough. The entire team responsible for the center also advocates for high quality care like KinderCare in Anchorage where the choices can be slim for families in need of early education. In the meantime, BP Alaska is leading by example—showing other employers how they, too, can provide high-quality child care for their employees.
“The KinderCare team empowered our teachers and our center director, and made us all feel like we were part of a team. It’s been amazing. Our engagement has gone up with our families—they all feel welcomed, heard, and valued.”– Traci Real, Facilities and Services Manager, BP Alaska