- Jill Rosen
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The Homewood Early Learning Center community is beginning a multi-year process that will upgrade, enhance, and relocate the center to a newly built, state-of-the-art facility in 2026.
In an email sent last week to early learning center families, university leaders announced that the new center will be built at the corner of University Parkway and San Martin Drive, the location of the former Carnegie Building. It was chosen after weeks of consultation with and feedback from parents, faculty, staff, and learners served by the center.
The move will keep the early learning center close to the Homewood campus—less than a mile away from its 8-year-old, semi-permanent modular structure at Wyman Park Drive and Remington Avenue—and will allow the university to build a bigger, better space to welcome a greater number of children and families, while maintaining the same high-quality care.
The early learning center will continue its long-term partnership with Downtown Baltimore Childcare, a nonprofit dedicated to providing outstanding early education and care to a diverse community through play-based learning. DBCC runs two other local centers: the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center at Henderson-Hopkins in Eager Park, and on the campus of the University of Maryland Baltimore.
"DBCC is committed to working with JHU to continue to nurture and educate the littlest members of our campus community," says Hilary Roberts-King, Executive Director of Downtown Baltimore Childcare. "Caring for children has the potential to be elevated when thoughtful design complements world-class teachers. It is an exciting opportunity to get to see this project through from blueprint to baby blue jays in their new nest on campus."
The university's goal is to ensure continuity of care for early learning center families. Input from the parent community will be crucial in determining related priorities for the new building, including quality outdoor space, natural light, proximity, and safety—all features children and families enjoy at the current location.
Parents will have the opportunity to provide ongoing feedback through the Homewood ELC Design Advisory Committee, which will inform the design of the new center through active participation in discussions and planning.
The Homewood Early Learning Center opened in fall 2015 and currently accommodates 98 children, ages 10 weeks through preschool. It is open to everyone, including community members, with priority admission available to Johns Hopkins affiliates. The new center will aim to accommodate all of its existing families as it plans to expand the university's childcare capacity to meet growing demand.
"The Homewood Early Learning Center has become a vital university resource since opening its doors," said Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller. "We are excited to begin working with community members and families to plan the next phase of its bright future."
The university will also stand up a Family Advisory Group to shape programming that will meet the current and future needs of all families at the university, including childcare, eldercare, tuition benefits, transportation, and more. This universitywide group will kick off early next year, partnering with HR to assess, evaluate, and recommend improved programs and services.
Relocating the center will give Hopkins the chance to provide spaces to more children while also upgrading to a newly built structure to replace the current semi-permanent facility, which is showing signs of wear and tear much earlier than its anticipated 15-year lifespan.
Accelerating the timeline for a permanent learning center building dovetails with the university's opportunity to plan the construction of its new data science and translation institute which will bring together experts from a wide range of disciplines to capitalize on the rapidly emerging potential of data to fuel discovery across the university. The new institute will be built on a parcel of land on the south side of the Homewood campus that includes the current location of the early learning center site and the Wyman Park Building parcel.
Learning center family members with questions or concerns may email email@example.com or provide feedback via this form. Updates will be provided via the JHU Child Care website under the "Early Learning Center Site Development" tab.