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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2008 / 09 

Virginia Tech, Rainbow Riders Childcare Center partner to address child care shortage in New River Valley

September 22, 2008

To meet the growing demand for high-quality and affordable child care services for its employees, Virginia Tech, the Virginia Tech Foundation, and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center have entered into new agreements with Rainbow Riders Childcare Center of Blacksburg that will expand child care services in the community and guarantee some of the new slots to families of Virginia Tech employees, employees of Corporate Research Center companies, and employees of university-related corporations.

Under the terms of this agreement, the university will pay the child care provider $100,000 annually (using private funds from the Virginia Tech Foundation) for five years to support a new child care facility to be built at Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center.

The proposed 19,600-square-foot, multi-story facility will be located at 1800 Ramble Road and will increase the amount of available child care slots for children six weeks to 12 years in the area by 246. Under the agreement, 60 percent of the slots will be guaranteed for children of Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and graduate students; 12 percent will be reserved for children of employees of persons working in companies based at Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center; and the balance will be available for others in the New River Valley community.

Rainbow Riders will lease 1.665 acres of land at the Corporate Research Center on which the facility will be built. Construction is scheduled to begin in November with completion and occupancy planned by August 2009, or prior to the start of Montgomery County Public Schools and Virginia Tech school years.

“With more than 5,800 full-time employees working in Blacksburg and an additional 4,300 on campus graduate and professional students, many of whom have young families, the availability of affordable, high quality child care has been a tremendous need at Virginia Tech for many years,” said Patricia Hyer, associate provost for academic administration. “Our agreement with Rainbow Riders is a significant step in addressing this issue. This will help many current Virginia Tech families who face child care needs.

“Providing affordable, convenient, and high quality daycare no longer is peripheral when it comes to faculty recruitment — it’s now essential,” adds Provost Mark G. McNamee. “This partnership between university and Rainbow Riders will help us significantly in the competition to recruit highly talented faculty and staff to Virginia Tech.”

“We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Virginia Tech,” noted Kristi Snyder, administrator at Rainbow Riders. “For the past five years, we’ve worked with families from the College of Engineering on a similar, but smaller agreement which made it clear that the need for high quality child care for Virginia Tech families was high. We are looking forward to serving more children and families in our community and thank the university for this opportunity.”

Families seeking a slot at one of the two Rainbow Riders facilities will need to go to the child care provider’s website, and submit information to be on its waiting list. Virginia Tech or Corporate Research Center families currently on the Rainbow Riders waiting list will need to update their record online to indicate the university department or Corporate Research Center tenant to which they are affiliated. Please note: the initial date of contact will be maintained for families currently on the waiting list who are updating their information. The waiting list order currently maintained will not change.

Current information on additional child care options throughout the New River Valley may be obtained by contacting Cathy Jacobs, director of work/life resources or by visiting the Work/Life Resources website.

Virginia Tech will also continue to operate its Child Development Center for Learning and Research located in Wallace Hall and operated by the Department of Human Development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. The center, a full day, year round program since 2005, serves about 40 children ages 15 months to five years. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Currently, Rainbow Riders cares for 210 children at their 14,000-square-foot facility located at 307 North Knollwood Drive in Blacksburg.

Since 1986, Rainbow Riders Childcare Center has provided care for children ages six weeks to 12 years. To meet the educational and developmental needs of each child served, Rainbow Riders utilizes professional teaching techniques and programs and creative curriculum planning. The professional teaching staff cares for the children with respect and kindness to ensure that individuals are both challenged and nurtured. Families are considered partners in their child’s experience in the school and are involved in many different aspects of the program. Rainbow Riders is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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