The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has brought a new child care center, the Academy of Future Leaders, to the Memphis Medical District. The center, which opened last month, serves the UTHSC campus community and the Medical District surrounding the campus.
The Academy of Future Leaders is located in a newly renovated building at 1026 Madison Avenue, at the corner of Madison and N. Camilla Street. The building, east of Landau Uniforms, is owned by the university.
The center is licensed for 115 children from infant to age 12. It is open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Priority will be given to families affiliated with UTHSC, however, enrollment is open to the community.
“We bought the building about five years ago with this strategy in mind,” said Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer at UTHSC. UTHSC had closed the child care center it operated and the building near its campus was available. Necessary renovations were delayed by the pandemic, while the university sought a provider with an established record of high-quality care for infants and children, Dr. Brown said.
“We wanted to outsource because the university didn’t necessarily want to be in the management of a day care business, but we knew that we needed services here for our faculty, staff, and student population, Dr. Brown said. “We were able to get a vendor identified through a competitive bidding process to ensure that the children would be given the early childhood education that they need to serve as a platform for them go into preschool and kindergarten as they get a little bit older.”
The Academy of Future Leaders is a sister location to Ready, Set, Grow Learning Academy, a child care center that opened in 2018 a little farther from the Medical District at 1418 Madison Ave. Shamara Rogers, MBA, MAEd, CAP, PM, the director for both centers, said she opened the first after her youngest son was born in 2016. She discovered finding child care for him was difficult.
The Academy of Future Leaders provides meals, as well as educational and developmental activities, including soccer, Spanish instruction, music, and movement classes. Interested parents may contact the center at 901.448.3366 or visit flamemphis.com for more information.
“We’re here to support the Medical District,” Rogers said.