Child care staff to remain unchanged after management acquired by new ownership

Bright Horizons acquires Hildebrandt, which operated two Penn State child care centers

The Child Care Center at Hort Woods Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State learned on Monday (May 18) evening that Hildebrandt Learning Center -- which has managed the Child Care Center at Hort Woods since its opening in 2011 as well as the Child Care Center at Penn State Harrisburg -- was acquired earlier in the day by Bright Horizons Family Solutions.

Bright Horizons will continue to honor the University’s contract with Hildebrandt and all teachers and administrators will be retained with their established wages and benefits.  No change will be made to tuition as a result of the acquisition, though annual adjustments may occur as was the case under Hildebrandt.

“Continuity of quality care for our children and support for teachers and administrators are our chief priorities,” said Holley Benjamin, director of early child care programs and services in the Office of Human Resources, which oversees University child care programs. “We are pleased that the teachers and leadership teams at Hort Woods and Harrisburg will remain and will ensure a consistent environment of learning and care for children and families.”

Bright Horizons and Hildebrandt notified staff and families of the change on Monday evening.

Penn State’s contract for management of Hort Woods and the Harrisburg center expires on June 30, 2016. The University’s Child Care Advisory Committee, composed of faculty, staff and administrators, is expected to present recommendations for child care management models that will determine how campus child care centers are managed in the future to University leadership in the coming weeks.

Based in Watertown, Mass., Bright Horizons operates centers and schools throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and India. Since its founding in 1986, it has been named 16 times as one of Fortune magazine’s 100 “Best Companies to Work for in America.” In a letter to families Bright Horizons and Hildebrandt leadership acknowledged a shared philosophy of quality care and early education.

Bright Horizons staff will visit the centers soon to meet with local staff and answer initial questions from families. Parents and families also are encouraged to contact their center’s director for any questions or concerns.

The Child Care Center at Hort Woods enrolls 170 children with 40 full-time employees. The Harrisburg Child Care Center enrolls 65 children with 10 full-time employees.

At University Park, Penn State also operates and manages the Bennett Family Center. For more on child care at University Park, visit For more on the Penn State Harrisburg Child Learning Center visit

Penn State also has a University-operated child care center at Penn State Behrend, as well as child care centers operating through an external vendor on campuses in Altoona, Fayette and the Hershey Medical Center. 

Last Updated May 19, 2015