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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Daycare a possibility for UA

    While the UA remains the only school in the Pacific 10 conference that does not have an on-campus daycare for student parents and faculty, the possibility of a daycare is in the works again, according to Amanda Brobbel with the Commission on the Status of Women.

    Brobbel said she has been working on the issue of getting a daycare at the UA for about six years, and this time she feels they are closer than ever.

    There are two companies currently interested in providing daycare service, she said, and when they met with President Robert Shelton to discuss it recently, he was very encouraging.

    “”It’s tricky at this point to know whether something will come through because of the budget cuts,”” Brobbel said.

    She said there was discussion with President Shelton about one-time funds that would not finance the project continually.

    Brobbel said that if they could construct a facility using these funds, it would lower the costs students and faculty would have to pay for the daycare services.

    “”It’s a gigantic leap forward from where we were last year,”” Brobbel said. “”In this environment it’s going to be challenging. We need to act quickly.””

    Emily Olson, a journalism junior who is the mother of a one-year-old daughter, said if there was daycare on campus, she could see her daughter during class breaks.

    “”I think it would be awesome to have a place (on campus) because on Mondays I have class from 10-9, so I don’t see my kid for 12 hours,”” Olson said.

    She also said the costs of outside daycare is very expensive and it is hard to find one that will take her daughter only on the two days of the week that she has class. A daycare center catered specifically to students and faculty would hopefully help with these problems.

    In the meantime, while an on-campus daycare center is still a hope for the future, there are a couple other resources at the UA that parents can take advantage of.

    Caryn Jung, senior coordinator of Human Resources said that one of the issues with the UA is that there are many campuses including Phoenix and UA South locations. She said the university aims to do their best to provide childcare help and options to students from all these locations, and not just for the main campus.

    The UA Human Resource Center helps parents find daycare centers or services that are the best-fitted and at the most convenient location for them, she said.

    “”It is important to recognize that some students take public transportation and they need a childcare center that is on their bus route,”” Jung said.

    Another service available to student parents is Babycats, which was started by two student mothers, Lisa Elliot and Mariannette Pascal, in 2004. It is simply a networking system that connects parents with sitters who can watch their kids during class or other times they need help.

    Babycats, which is for undergraduate students, has evolved to include Babycats Too, which encompasses graduate students and faculty, and Babycat Sitters, said Marti Martinez, Webmaster for Babycats.

    “”I’ve used it a couple times and I’ve found some good sitters through it,”” he said.

    Jung said that the Human Resource Center listens to what people need and try to provide the services they feel fit the needs the most and try to customize programs to the students.

    One service the Human Resources Center does offer is emergency care, Jung said. If a child gets sick or the nanny cannot come for a couple days, there is a service to have a care provider come for $2 an hour so the student-parent can still attend class until the regular childcare routine can be resumed.

    “”I have so much respect for families who pursue academic programs,”” Jung said. “”Sometimes it’s just knowing that there’s a story time at the public library that helps.””

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