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Staples Breaks Ground for On-Site Child Care Center
WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 27, 1998-- Company Dedicates Center to Staples Co-founder, Myra Hart,
    who First Conceived of a Child Care Center for Staples

Staples Inc. today broke ground for an on-site, state-of-the-art child care facility designed to meet the needs of the company's growing workforce and maintain a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining the most talented employees.

The company dedicated the center, which will serve as the cornerstone for the company's work/life initiatives, to Myra Hart, a co-founder of Staples and a Harvard Business School professor who conceived of a child care center for Staples more than ten years ago.

Scheduled to open in Spring 1999, the 7,900-square-foot center will house 100 children ages six weeks to six years old and will include five spots for children of welfare-to-work parents employed by Staples. The center will be located adjacent to the company's new Corporate Center in Framingham, Mass., making it convenient for employees to drop off and pick up their children, as well as stop in for noontime visits.

"Within the last five years, our company has grown from about 10,000 employees to over 32,000 employees, and we plan to continue this expansion," said Tom Stemberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Staples. "To become the employer of choice nationwide, we realize that we need to be more innovative in our programs. The child care center, in conjunction with our other work/life initiatives, will help make Staples an even more attractive place to work."

"When we launched Staples in 1986, we were very anxious to include a child care center at the company's Newton facility," said Professor Hart. "The company was destined to grow quickly. We knew we would need to hire many ambitious, hardworking people, and we wanted to offer special benefits to recruit and retain the best employees. We invited another new start-up, Bright Horizons, to make a proposal for child care services at our Newton headquarters. Unfortunately, the cost of upgrading the old facility to meet child care center building codes was prohibitively expensive for a young, entrepreneurial company. It's wonderful to see this project finally brought to fruition."

The center will be managed by Bright Horizons, a child care organization that is gaining national recognition for its innovative child development and education programs, cutting edge design and first-rate management. Bright Horizons has an unsurpassed record of accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young children and has been selected by Fortune as one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

"We selected Bright Horizons to run the program based on the company's excellent reputation," said Stemberg. "But we also selected them because they are like us -- we were both start-ups back in the mid-1980s and have continued down tremendous growth paths."

"We're excited to be working with Staples to offer quality, on-site child care to its associates," said Linda Mason, president of Bright Horizons. "Employer-sponsored child care programs are growing about five times faster than other child care, driven by a tight labor market and the increasing number of women who are having children and going back to work. It's a wonderful benefit that employers can offer."

The Staples Child Care Center will focus on education and emotional, intellectual and physical development. Bright Horizons also creates a language-rich environment in its centers to expand children's writing, speaking, listening and reading skills.

In addition, Staples will offer emergency back up care for those not using the center on a daily basis, a summer camp program for toddlers and pre-school children who are regularly enrolled or those who wish to be enrolled only for the summer months and a school age program that includes child care for children ages four to 13 during school vacations, holidays and snow days.

In addition to the child care center, other Staples work/life initiative benefits include:

  • Alternative work schedules, including flex time, job sharing, telecommuting and compressed work weeks;
  • Sick days for sick children;
  • Adoption reimbursement benefit;
  • Employee assistance program that includes child care and elder care referrals, adoption and education resource and referral services;
  • Flexible spending accounts for health care and dependent care expenses;
  • Tuition reimbursement;
  • Casual dress every day; and
  • Associate appreciation days.

    Bright Horizons is an organization dedicated to the mission of creating early education programs that help young children reach their full potential by partnering with employers to develop and manage high-quality child care programs at the work-site. Bright Horizons is the nation's leading provider of work-site child care, with a network of 268 individually-tailored child development programs in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

    Staples Inc. is a $5 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Staples, headquartered outside Boston, invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company, which has grown earnings per share at a 38 percent compound rate over the last four years, has over 32,000 associates serving the business customer through more than 860 office superstores, mail order catalogs and a contract business. More information is available on the company at http://www.staples.com

    
         CONTACT: Staples Inc.
                  Shannon Lapierre, (508) 370-8468