HELENA — St. Peter’s Health has purchased Creative Horizons Learning Center near their north clinic and plans to use the space as a childcare facility for St. Peter’s employees’ children.
The child care center known as Pete’s Place helps to accommodate for the odd hours that many in the healthcare industry experience. It allows more parents to re-enter or take more hours in the workforce. Additionally, by providing child care for their employees, St. Peter’s is potentially freeing up multiple spots in childcare facilities throughout Helena.
“This is something that I have heard from businesses throughout the community, that they have workers that need access to child care. I've even heard the term that Montana is a child care desert, that we really just, the gap is so significant that we have. So, as we're able to take care of more of our own employees internally and their child care needs, we're able to open up slots for others throughout the community. So really, we see it as a win-win strategy for not just Saint Pete's, but for the community as a whole,” says CEO at St. Peter’s Health, Wade Johnson.
Dr. Ashley Coggins of St. Peter’s Health has utilized the main campus’ Pete’s Place. She’s very thankful that St. Peter’s Health is tackling the lack of child care head-on and directly for employees like her.
“Pete’s Place is, gosh I could, I can run over there. I could go look at my child there and give him a hug if he skins his knee. I can go check on him immediately if he's sick. Right on my way to work I stop, I drop him off, and then I go park for the day. And it's just so convenient, and it really gives me peace of mind to know that he's right there,” says Coggins.
Pete’s Place will continue to offer care for the 55 children currently enrolled at Creative Horizons. Additionally, all employees of Creative Horizons were offered jobs at Pete’s Place. They plan to expand both Pete’s Place locations to accommodate approximately twice as many children as they can now and plan to have the new north site ready within a matter of months.