published Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

$2.6 million Erlanger day care center to serve VW employees

Artist rendering of the planned Erlanger day-care facility at the Volkswagen plant.
Artist rendering of the planned Erlanger day-care facility at the Volkswagen plant.
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The site currently offers these services:

• Wellness center

• Workforce corporate health services

• Pharmacy

• Fitness center

•Siskin rehabilitation unit

An Erlanger subsidiary will build a $2.6 million day care facility for use by Volkswagen employees and people who live in the area around the plant.

The 13,400-square-foot center is to serve up to 218 children and will go up next to the existing Erlanger at Volkswagen Drive health and wellness site that opened earlier this year near the automaker's plant.

The Erlanger child care center will be the sixth-biggest in Hamilton County based on capacity, according to the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Hans-Herbert Jagla, executive vice president of human resources for VW's Chattanooga operations, said the carmaker has "a mutual agreement" with the Chattanooga health care operator.

"We've negotiated a competitive fee for day care that our employees will pay," he said.

Donna Bourdon, Erlanger Health Systems' senior vice president of ambulatory services, said child care services will start operating Jan. 2 within the existing Erlanger at VW Drive site.

She said an application is being submitted to the state for licensure for 68 children.

The larger child care center will be built next to the existing location and is slated to open in April, Bourdon said.

She said the Erlanger subsidiary, Erlanger Pharmacies, is in negotiations with Kandy Kastle Child Development Center to manage the two centers. Erlanger Pharmacies owns and operates e-Kids Learning Center in the city.

"All families will pay enrollment fees for the child care center," Bourdon said, adding that there will be after-care services and "drop off sitter" services available.

Jagla said VW has enrolled 50 people for the daycare center already.

"One important thing for us is to take care of our employees," he said.

The VW plant has more than 2,500 employees and is running two full shifts.

The plant is producing between 400 and 450 new Passats daily, VW officials said earlier this month. Officials said they're also working toward getting a second vehicle into the plant for production.

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about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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