Campbell Soup opened a new 17,000-square-foot childcare center at its Camden headquarters today, expanding a family care program the company has had in place for over 30 years.
The Family Center, which can care for over 150 children daily from infancy to kindergarten, is run by Boston-based Bright Horizons Family Solutions and offers an early education curriculum from traditional subjects to specialized subjects like engineering, gardening, and cooking. It gives working parents the opportunity to show up to work knowing that their child is in a safe, healthy environment.
“I remember being a working mother in the ‘70s,” Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said. “There were really no resources. Childcare was [a matter of] who do you know that could watch your children, that you trusted? I know how busy working families are and for them to have an opportunity to send their kids to a safe place [on campus], Then they can focus on their work. It’s the best of both. The company wins, and the employee wins.”
The facility includes 13 classrooms, a 9,200-square-foot playground, a culinary learning area, and a rock-climbing wall.
Jenn Nocito, senior labor employment counsel, has worked at Campbell for 10 years. Both her sons started in the company’s family care program at four months old and attended all through kindergarten.
“My other working mom friends are so jealous of this benefit, that it’s on site, and that it’s right here for us,” Nocito said. “It’s also priced really well. We do a really good job at making the rates affordable for our families, as it’s partially subsidized.”
Addressing the company’s commitment to working families, Morrison said she believes employers should do their part in helping parents juggle career and home life.
“Work-life balance is a myth,” Morrison said. “There’s no such thing as that perfect equilibrium. I think sets a false expectation. But anything that you can do to help people integrate work and life is important. I do believe that companies can look at – and we have--things like on-site daycare benefit plans. We’ve changed our parental leave policy, not only for the primary caregiver but also secondary. We have adoption assistance. We have assistance for medical needs, for parents of autistic kids. There are a number of different programs that i think employers can bring to their employees as benefits based on the need.”