Oregon Health & Science University

Child care benefits for health care workers is just good medicine.

The client

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is Oregon’s only academic health center and a nationally acclaimed university dedicated solely to advancing health sciences. Comprising three campuses and over 16,000 employees in Portland, OHSU knows that continued medical breakthroughs and innovations come from attracting and retaining top talent from all over the world.

The opportunity

By listening to their workforce, OHSU knew that their professors, scientists, staff, and students would value a quality, on-site child care center. They just needed to find a provider who shared their values to bring their mission to life. OHSU was looking for an expert in early childhood education who could deliver high-quality care during flexible hours, accommodate a busy hospital, and create a center that felt like an extension of the campus.

The solution

OHSU partnered with KinderCare Education at Work to build the Healthy Starts Learning Center, which embodies all of OHSU’s values and sets children up for academic, social, and emotional success. 
Healthy Starts features the most current research-based curriculum, sustainable business practices from an Eco-Healthy Child Care® endorsement, and daily fresh, organic meals made from locally sourced ingredients (created in partnership with a KinderCare nutritionist). The center also boasts an indoor playground with four retractable doors, great for the unpredictable Pacific Northwest climate. Rain or shine, Healthy Starts kids will always be able to play in the fresh air.
parent and boy with soccer ball

The results

Soon after opening the center, OHSU expanded their child care benefits to extend tuition savings to their working families. From 2016 to 2019, more than 400 families took advantage of the Tuition Benefit for their 482 children. Collectively, families saved $760,000 in child care costs over that time.
OHSU families savings graphic

Having the child care center is an advantage in our recruiting efforts. Its presence is one less thing prospective candidates need to worry about when coming from out of town.

- Lisa Carter, Project Lead, OHSU

The lasting support

Healthy Starts now serves to attract and retain OHSU’s top talent in faculty, staff, and students, ensuring that quality health care and medical breakthroughs continue—all while educating a future generation of thinkers and doers. 
In building a center dedicated to their working families, OHSU has created a space that helps its employees find balance and confidence no matter what comes their way in life. But don’t take our word for it! Hear from some our resident families.


Healthcare worker

Healthy Starts helped Jason through two of life’s biggest challenges and gave him the flexibility he needed to step into 2021 surefooted.

Hear his story
Daniella and Ryan

Daniella and Ryan

Working from home

A new baby made first remote work experiences a bit more challenging for Daniella and Ryan. So returning to Healthy Starts was a must!

Hear their story


Healthcare administrator

Gina’s work is impossible without child care. But through Healthy Starts, OHSU makes difficult career choices easier for families like hers.

Hear her story
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