Tyson Foods broke ground on a new childcare facility at its Humboldt, Tennessee, poultry processing plant that will provide greater access to affordable childcare for frontline team members employed at the facility.

The on-site childcare and learning facility is a pilot project that represents the most recent commitment by the company to support its team members and become the most sought-after place to work.

The $3.5 million Humboldt childcare facility, expected to be operational in 2023, will support up to 100 children, five years of age and younger, and employ a staff of eighteen. Called Tyson Tykes, it will be operated as an early childhood learning center by KinderCare and subsidized by the company to lower the cost for Tyson team members. 

“This is an important day for our company and our team members in Humboldt,” said David Bray, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods. “We constantly strive to be the most sought-after place to work and are achieving that goal by listening to and supporting our team members, ensuring they have the right tools to be successful.”

A study by Child Care Aware states the national average cost of care for one child in a center amounts to about $12,300 per year in 2020, a staggering 214% increase since 1990 and more than half the federal poverty level for a family of three.

Research also shows children enrolled in early childhood education programs have greater high school graduation rates, increased IQ scores, higher career earnings and are less likely to commit a crime as they enter adulthood.

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“As we’ve all learned during the past two years, working parents need access to early education and care for their children in order to fully participate in the workforce,” said Dan Figurski, president of KinderCare Education At Work. “That’s why we’re excited to work with forward-thinking employers like Tyson to provide affordable, high-quality childcare for their workers. Tyson recognizes the value and support childcare provides Humboldt employees. We can’t wait to open the doors to Tyson Tykes in 2023 and give Tyson families peace of mind knowing their children are learning and growing right next door.”

“This public private partnership demonstrates exactly what is possible when there is collaboration across sectors to support the well-being of Tennesseans,” said Clarence H. Carter, commissioner of Tennessee department of human services. “Our Child Care Services Team is dedicated to thinking outside the box, and connecting with community stakeholders to find solutions for parents and caregivers that rely on childcare to work. We appreciate the partnership with Tyson Foods, and their commitment to the citizens of Humboldt and surrounding counties.”

Tyson’s Humboldt poultry complex, which includes a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill, currently has a staff of more than 1,235 people and is expected to eventually employ 1,500.

The event marked the second investment in childcare by Tyson in less than a year. In 2021, the company awarded nearly $400,000 to the Wesley Community Center and Maverick Boys and Girls Club of Amarillo to refurbish their facilities to accommodate the children of Tyson team members employed at the company’s Amarillo beef plant. The funding helped provide transportation, increased security, commercial refrigerators, cots and tutoring. Each facility supports up to 40 children, and Tyson expects to invest close to $500,000 to cover tuition for team members participating in the program.