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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Web site promises parent aid

    Ray Gasser, chairman of the Family Care Workgroup, talks to a colleague in his office in the Park Student Union yesterday afternoon. Gasser helps oversee a Web site about child care on campus.
    Ray Gasser, chairman of the Family Care Workgroup, talks to a colleague in his office in the Park Student Union yesterday afternoon. Gasser helps oversee a Web site about child care on campus.

    More resources will soon be available to student parents, including a playground for their children and a new informational Web site , a university official said.

    “”Our goals and initiatives are to make this university a more child-friendly place,”” said Ray Gasser, chair of the Family Care Workgroup.

    To help make things more centralized, organizers are currently developing a Web site , aimed to launch for Family Weekend, Oct. 19-21, that details the locations of many of the services available to children and parents on campus.

    The “”Child-Friendly UA”” Web site will provide information on activities, organizations, policies, childcare resources and financial assistance, Gasser said.

    “”It’d be an easy resource for any parent to go to,”” he said.

    For some student parents, the Web site is an important addition to the UA.

    “”I think this ‘Child-Friendly’ Web site is crucial,”” said Margret Palmer, a student parent and president of BabyCats, a UA babysitting program.

    It will be a great way to pull together everybody who has been working with student parent issues, she said.

    Over the last five years, the Family Care Workgroup has been largely responsible for other developments such as changing tables, lactation stations, high chairs in the Student Union Memorial Center and the Kidz Korner play area in the Commuter Student Lounge, Gasser said.

    Kidz Korner, on the fourth floor of the SUMC, is intended to give student parents a place to work while their kids are entertained and safe, said Christina Lieberman, director of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

    “”The University

    The University of Arizona is a larger family, not just 18-year-olds.

    -Christina Lieberman, director, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership

    of Arizona is a larger family, not just 18-year-olds,”” she said.

    BabyCats will be among the services to be listed on the Web site, Palmer said.

    A related group, BabyCatSitters, is an organization that parents can contact when they need a sitter to watch their children in Kidz Korner or at home while they are in class, Palmer said.

    While permanent childcare on campus isn’t currently available, on-campus services, like the new play area being developed by The Family Care Workgroup, help bring attention to the student-parent population, Gasser said.

    The outdoor play area will be located in the grassy area between the education and psychology buildings, he said.

    Gasser said he hopes the play area will spark a discussion within the UA community about permanent childcare on campus.

    The estimated cost of the project is $17,000. The group has $10,000 and is currently fundraising for the rest, Gasser said.

    Most of the money came from the old Christopher City Fund that used to promote UA family housing, Palmer said.

    “”It’s a step in the right direction,”” she said.

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