By Rick Rothacker, Charlotte Observer
Wells Fargo & Co. is eliminating a popular child-care benefit used by University area employees, the latest change to come from the San Francisco-based bank's purchase of Charlotte's Wachovia Corp.
Parents learned last week that the Leslee Lloyd Child Development Center will remain open, but that an income-based tuition subsidy will end Jan. 1. Employees will have priority for enrollment, but the center will be opened up to other families.
The facility will continue to be run by Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a Massachusetts-based provider of employer-sponsored child care.
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In a statement, Wells Fargo said the decision was difficult but designed to ensure consistency across Wells Fargo locations. “We take these steps with great reluctance, but with the company's long-term health and success guiding our decisions,” the company said.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman wasn't able to say how many families would be affected by the move.
In 1999, Wachovia predecessor First Union Corp. touted an expansion of the center to accommodate up to 558 children. The facility, located on the campus of its Customer Information Center, has helped the bank win accolades from Working Mother magazine.
Wells Fargo's Dec. 31 purchase of Wachovia stabilized a company struggling with bad mortgage loans, but it's meant layoffs and other changes for employees. Wells Fargo has eliminated a Wachovia benefit that gave time off to care for a sick family member, and it has frozen its cash-balance pension fund for all employees.