Kids and teachers playing drums at The Music Settlement
Professor of Music Education Lisa Huisman Koops (back left) is a music and movement teacher at The Music Settlement. Photo by Russell Lee.

New agreement with The Music Settlement enhances university’s child care options

Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder today announced an agreement with The Music Settlement (TMS) to explore joint opportunities to enhance the university’s child care options.

As a first step in the collaboration, The Music Settlement is reserving 35 of its early childhood program slots for children of students, staff and faculty. The university, meanwhile, will cover each family’s $75 registration fee.

“The Music Settlement is renowned for the high quality of its programs,” President Snyder said. “We are proud to partner with an organization so fully dedicated to excellence in education and in the arts.”

Founded more than a century ago, TMS today maintains two campuses—one adjacent to the university, and the other in Ohio City. The reserved slots may be used at either location for kindergarten, day school and early childhood preschool programs.

TMS President and CEO Geralyn ‘Geri’ Presti—a double alumna of Case Western Reserve—cited the organizations’ shared values as a key factor in the decision to work together.

“As a proud graduate of Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, I know first-hand the university’s commitment to excellence in research, teaching and innovation, as well as the arts,” Presti said. “The Music Settlement shares the same values and is thrilled that our two institutions can join together to provide award-winning early childhood educational programs to the faculty, staff and students of Case Western Reserve.”

The university and TMS considered a joint child care effort a decade ago when the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district closed one of its elementary schools. In response to a Faculty Senate vote naming child care as its highest priority, President Snyder created a committee to consider potential ways to address families’ needs.

Although The Music Settlement ultimately did not acquire the Coventry School building, the university did implement several other recommendations from the President’s Committee on Child Care Options. These included assistance with temporary and back-up child care, as well as funding for care required as a result of work-related travel. Based on feedback from the Faculty Parents organization, the university increased the individual limits and overall budget for the programs three years ago.

Current Faculty Parents leader Maggie Popkin applauded the new arrangement with The Music Settlement, noting that the organization’s exceptional quality makes securing spaces for children particularly challenging.

“The Music Settlement is an extraordinary place that has a really high reputation with its preschool program,” said Popkin, an associate professor of art history. The partnership “is filling a need right now and also potentially setting up a foundation for future developments—both of those are exciting.”

President Snyder will be emailing the campus community later in the week with additional details about the arrangement with TMS. Until then, those with questions can contact her chief of staff, Katie Brancato, at