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One company's child-care colossus

Amgen Inc., doesn't just have a child-care facility, it has a child-care metropolis. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., biotechnology firm opened one of the largest child-care facilities (below) in the US last week. Able to serve up to 430 children, the 45,000-square foot building has 32 classrooms, 16 playgrounds, and 107 teachers - not to mention paved tricycle trails. Prices are reportedly lower than average day-care costs in the area.

The Child Care Action Campaign found families with employed mothers with children under the age of 5 spend an average of $74 per week on child care. And they note absenteeism caused by poor-quality child care costs US businesses more than $3 billion each year.

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That's why on-site day-care facilities are de rigueur with today's corporations. America is home to some 8,000 workplace child-care centers, estimates Ilene Hoffer of Bright Horizons, a Boston-based provider of employer-sponsored child-care.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society