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Balancing family and work is a challenge regardless of the industry, but the Hollywood grind often demands long hours, and that can make finding childcare feel impossible. That’s exactly the problem Peggy and Samuel Goldwyn Jr. set out to fix when they opened an entertainment-focused daycare in 1991 and donated it to the MPTF.
The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation Children’s Center now cares for more than a hundred children of industry employees and — despite largely flying under the radar — like any quality Hollywood business, there’s a waitlist. The colorful West L.A. center is operated by Bright Horizons, serves children from 8 weeks to 6 years old, and is one of few places in town to offer 12-hour care.
“At the time the center was established by my parents, there wasn’t anything like this,” says Peter Goldwyn, son of Samuel Jr. and grandson of movie magnate Samuel. “The center is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. So it fits with the actual schedule of a working parent.”
Goldwyn, 39, isn’t just connected to the center by his parents. His kids, now 7 and 10, are alumni, and he’s become increasingly involved in fundraising efforts. “My focus has really been organizing groups of alumni and parents and getting them to remain part of the Children’s Center community and to give on an annual basis to the school,” he says. “It does have an endowment, and it runs a very healthy scholarship program as well, but there’s a need to keep the school modern and up to the standards that we want.”
The MPTF is gearing up for its centennial celebration in 2021 and chief development officer Courteney Bailey says highlighting the center will be a big part of its overall fundraising efforts. “The building is fantastic, but it was built in 1991,” she says. “It requires care. We recently repainted the buildings, replaced the sand and updated the elevators. They’re not the sexiest initiatives, but they’re vital.”
Bailey says historically MPTF didn’t focus much on fundraising for the center because of the Goldwyn endowment, but under Peter’s leadership they’ve begun working to raise awareness of the school’s work within the community. “It truly personifies our mission of taking care of our own,” says Bailey. “Down the road we’ve talked about having multiple locations. That’s really lofty. Right now, we have to focus on the one center and doing it right.”
Goldwyn says he’s thrilled with what the center has done for the entertainment community over the past 28 years and he’s excited to be part of its future. “Becoming a parent is completely life-changing and you don’t know which end is up sometimes,” says Goldwyn. “To have a place that really can help you walk through the stages of your kid’s development and make you feel comfortable so you can go off and also live your life in your career is a lot of help. I’m very proud that it’s a part of my family’s legacy.”
A version of this story first appeared in the July 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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