St. Peter’s increases child care capacity with purchase of Creative Horizons | Local


St. Peter’s Health said Tuesday it has purchased Creative Horizons Learning Center, a Helena child care facility, to expand its operations and to help more employees in need of child care.

The center is at 3430 Ptarmagin Lane, near the health system’s North Clinic and Physical Rehabilitation North Clinic. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The early childhood learning and development center will be called Peter’s Place North, and all 17 of the former Creative Horizons staff members were invited to continue to work at this location.

St. Peter’s said it “welcomed” all 55 children now receiving care at Creative Horizons to attend Pete’s Place until they are old enough to attend kindergarten. This fall, the health system intends to open more classrooms at the new facility after renovations are complete, opening 45 child care spots for its employees.

People are also reading…

Outgoing Creative Horizons Learning Center owner Ann Lynch selected St. Peter’s to assume ownership of her center upon retirement after a 35-year career serving area families.

She said St. Peter’s shared her priority to continue her legacy of offering high-quality child care.

“The similarities between Pete’s Place and Creative Horizons make this a natural transition, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they’re taking care of my families and staff,” Lynch said in a news release.

Hospital officials said they are also talking with its board of directors and local contractors about an expansion of Pete’s Place, the existing on-campus child care facility, and said St. Peter’s was recently awarded $1 million from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) for Phase 1 of its proposed expansion of its existing Pete’s Place.

A 2021 Harvard Business Review survey of 2,500 working parents found that 20% had to leave work or reduce their work hours solely due to a lack of child care.

St. Peter’s CEO Wade Johnson said St. Peter’s is making a strategic decision to invest in child care for many reasons, most notably to improve the health and well-being of its 1,700 staff and the greater Helena community.

“We know from listening to our team members that access to high quality child care is a challenge in our community, and St. Peter’s is committed to being part of the solution,” he said in a news release.

“Not only will expanding child care options help us recruit and retain staff, the peace of mind we can offer because our employees know their children are safe and well cared for is very important to us as a people-first organization,” he said.

St. Peter’s has operated the on-site, employee-only child care center on its main campus near the Regional Medical Center since 1986.

Officials said they will provide more information on future expansion once they determine a final project scope and time frame.

Johnson said by expanding Creative Horizons and investing in Pete’s Place, St. Peter’s was not only addressing the needs of its employees, but also increasing the availability of child care at other community-based providers as St. Pete’s staff transfers their care.

“Many of our employees have spouses who work for other organizations locally, or who might even consider going back to work if quality child care was available,” he said.

“We see this as a positive for our staff and our community in terms of addressing both the child care and workforce shortages.”

Creative Horizons and Pete’s Place both participate in the DPHHS Stars to Quality Program, a quality-rating improvement system that supports early childhood education programs. St. Peter’s also recently began leading the local Early Childhood Coalition, which is focused on addressing early childhood programming in Lewis and Clark County. 

Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Leave a Reply