Apr 30, 2024 - News

Walmart's on-campus child care center ready to open in Bentonville

photo of classroom

A classroom inside the Little Squiggles Children's Enrichment Center. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Walmart is adding a day care and preschool as the second major amenity to open on its new campus next week.

Why it matters: The company wants its 350-acre campus in Bentonville to be a modern workplace that helps retain and attract talent. And that means making it an easy place to walk, bike, eat, work out, and to drop off or pick up kids.

Parents can also pop over to the center to join their kids for lunch or just to check on them, and there's a nursing room for breastfeeding.

State of play: The 73,000-square-foot Little Squiggles Children's Enrichment Center includes 38 classrooms, all of which open to outdoor playgrounds for ages 6 weeks to pre-K. The children also have access to STEM labs, movement rooms and outdoor gardening spaces.

  • The center will take up to 500 children. It'll start off with about 210 when it opens Monday and gradually add more, center executive director Lauren Floyd told Axios during a media tour.
photo of Little Squiggles
Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

What they're saying: "Convenience is so huge," Walmart spokesperson Raven Washabaugh told Axios.

  • "You're doing school dropoff in the morning — that is a full morning routine for most parents, and to know that if you forgot something, you can just run over here on campus," she said.

How it works: Bright Horizons, a company with 600 child care centers nationwide, will operate Little Squiggles. The company already runs the Sam's Club equivalent — the Sam's Club Kids Club that opened in 2020 and has space for 170 children, Floyd said.

  • Walmart corporate employees will receive priority at Little Squiggles, but Sam's Club corporate employees may also be able to send their children if there is space.

Flashback: A new fitness center opened to all Walmart and Sam's Club employees in January.

  • The plan is for all 15,000-ish of the company's corporate employees to be working on the new campus in 2025.

By the numbers: The price is $1,117 to $1,258 per child per month. Price ranges vary based on child stages, like infant versus preschool. The cost includes two snacks plus lunch daily.

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