|Clara Keane (left) and Olga Kim playing under a makeshift tent at the U-M Childrens Center for Working Families. Photos by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services|
Nearly 70 families have received child care tuition grants through the program, which began Sept. 1. Faculty, staff and students with children enrolled at the Family Housing Child Development Center, the Pound House Childrens Center, the U-M Childrens Center and the U-M Childrens Center for Working Families are eligible to apply for a child care tuition grant. Eligibility for the program reflects the Housing and Urban Development guidelines for Washtenaw County, which look at family income and size. Grant amounts have ranged from 20 percent to 40 percent of tuition.
It is my hope that this program will enable University families to enroll their children at one of these four excellent University child care programs that would otherwise be out of their financial reach, said Provost Nancy Cantor in a July letter to parents of enrolled children.
|Nate Barnett (foreground) with Jack McGuinness at the U-M Childrens Center for Working Families|
Priti Mithas and her husband Sunil, a graduate student in the School of Business Administration, received a tuition grant last semester for their childs care at the Child Development Center. My husband is a student here, so the grant has really helped us, Priti Mithas notes. The grant has cut their child care costs by almost one-half.
Lingjie Xus husband also is a Ph.D. student at the University. The financial support he receives through his graduate program is not enough to meet the cost of child care for the couples daughter. The tuition grant has eased some of the financial burden of child care. This is a big help; its very important to us, Xu says.
The Xus 4-year-old daughter, according to Lingjie Xu, is developing her drawing skills, socializing with other children and learning English at the day care center. Were happy about all these things, Xu says. I will recommend this program to other parents.
|Deniz Gulari in the U-M Childrens Center for Working Families exercise room. Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services|
Hinshaw, dean of the School of Nursing, and charged by the provost and the vice president for student affairs with assessing the demand for child care, recommending an approach, and addressing needs and concerns about affordability and accessibility.
There has been an incredible outpouring of support from the provost on behalf of families at the
U-M, Leach says.
In September, Cantor received the Work-Life-Family Award from the Department of Labor Womens Bureau, recognizing her work to enact family-friendly policies at the U-M.
In addition to the child care tuition grant program, these include an increase in sick time allowed to be used for child or family care, and the Kids Kare at Home program, which provides in-home caregivers for sick children or adults while the primary caregiver goes to work. These benefits are available to all eligible faculty, staff and students. Both the Center for the Education of Women and the Family Care Resources Program have worked with the Office of the Provost to develop these programs.
The provost has provided an unbelievable amount of support on behalf of young children and their families, Leach notes. Everyones feeling itteachers, children and parents.
The child care tuition grant program is a success, according to Leach, because it considers need and assists families directly while providing children access to quality early childhood programs. The four U-M child care programs are accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
Interested families may pick up an application from one of the four child care centers. Applications are reviewed continually, must be resubmitted each term, and must include documentation of family income and size. Written notification of a centers decision will be provided to each family.
For more information, visit the Childrens Centers Web site, www.childrenscenters.umich.edu, or the Family Housing and Pound House child care centers site, www.housing.umich.edu/family/index.html.