In summer 1991, Georgetown University’s Task Force on the Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Women issued the report of its Commission on the Status of Women at the University. In this report the Task Force recommended that the University “move forward expeditiously in the creation of a child care facility…” and that this facility be “convenient to the Main Campus and managed in a way that offers care that is affordable in light of the differential scales of university salaries.”
In making this recommendation, the Task Force cited the positive impact the Center would have on the University’s ability to compete for faculty and other personnel; the center’s importance as a means of ensuring equitable working conditions for women and men; and the documented, measurable increase in morale, productivity, and longevity in workplaces that provide child care. The Task Force also emphasized that the child care center would be more than a sound business practice; it would be a means of fulfilling the unique responsibility of a Catholic and Jesuit institution to promote a strong family with an appropriate balance between work life and home life.
The recommendation to create a childcare facility was the culmination of numerous surveys, discussions, and proposals conducted by a range of experts over several years. Recognizing the persuasive, sound, and consistent consensus of the University community on the need for a child care center, and understanding the many ways in which such a center would enhance campus life, GU President, Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., made the creation of the child care center a priority.
Fr. O’Donovan identified Poulton Hall as the location for the facility, appropriated resources to launch the center, stipulated that the center serve the entire University community, and appointed a committee to administer the center’s creation. The Child Care Center Committee first met in January 1996 and within 18 months oversaw appropriate renovations to Poulton Hall; hired a director for the center; developed a philosophy, mission statement and program, and enrolled the first Hoya Kids Learning Center class. Hoya Kids opened in the fall of 1997, with the capacity to provide the highest quality of care and learning to 58 children, ages 18 months to five years.