Veterinarians Putting Children First
Child care in the Veterinary Industry

Vet Cadets Childcare is a first-of-its-kind, certified childcare center located inside the Veterinary Referral Center of Central Oregon’s Emergency and Specialty Hospital. It is a center to support both staff and parents in the Bend community with comprehensive, educational programming for children 12 months to six years of age. The great news for Bend families is that parents do not need to be employed by VRCCO to enroll their children.

Adhering to the VRCCO company values of beyond expectations, one team and compassion, Vet Cadet’s inception was meant to support employee parents dealing with a lack of care facilities in Bend, in a region that is often referred to as Central Oregon’s “child care desert.” Taking into consideration that more than 60% of veterinary professionals are women, VRCCO believed that child care would be an appreciated addition to their new hospital site. Also, working within a 24-hour establishment poses challenges for any parent with young children. VRCCO hopes this center mitigates stress, eliminates extra commutes and enables parents to enjoy their kids throughout the day. 

Although it may seem like an odd combination, VRCCO has welcomed this program with open arms. Through a secure company volunteer program, employees may even take an active role within the center, another unexpected family forward benefit. School-aged children of employees have been able to participate as volunteers and gain community service hours in the process. These volunteers have quickly become class favorites and these relationships have instilled a beautiful sense of community within the hospital.

VRCCO didn’t account for all of the added benefits that this center brings to their company. As many are aware, the veterinary industry is notorious for compassion fatigue and burnout. While most people are driven to this field because of their love and compassion for animals, it can be difficult to face the stress of caring for sick/injured pets each day. What came as a surprise to the VRCCO staff was how uplifting the presence of children can be. Hearing their laughter or seeing them play can be a welcome distraction on a difficult day, one that positively impacts the team's morale.

Vet Cadet's teachers have also become esteemed team members, their positions supported by the hospital qualifying them for full company benefits. VRCCO refers to their employees as heroes, which is an appropriate sentiment to the value these teachers have given to this program, to the parents that utilize their service and fortunately to the company as a whole.

Vet Cadets is currently enrolling. Spots that aren’t filled by employees are welcome to the public through full-time or daily drop-in care. Vet Cadets is also hosting a family-fun community event at Ponch’s Place on Saturday, June 29 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 62889 NE Oxford Ct. in Bend, OR. Crafts will be set up for children 12 months and older. 

For program inquiries, please contact: Kelly-Anne MacDowell: [email protected]  | 

Contact Information:
Katie Sedivec
Marketing Director
[email protected]

Original Source: Veterinarians Putting Children First