Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Work/Life Resource Center helps U-M parents with search for child care

The Work/Life Resource Center has created a new, information-rich page on its Web site and offers a Child Care Referral Service to help U-M parents find child care best suited to their needs.

For years the Work/Life Resource Center has helped U-M families find child care by providing a searchable Web site with up-to-date information about hundreds of area providers. A state-sponsored vendor had updated the database, but due to state budget cuts each provider now must manage its own information.

“Our concern was that this change could lead to inconsistencies for our U-M families,” says Jennie McAlpine, director of Work/Life Programs. “Parents need reliable information. And we are taking steps to provide it.”

The updated Work/Life Resource Center Web page, hr.umich.edu/worklife/childcare/index.html, provides information about the new database system as well as specific local options, such as the U-M Children’s Centers and the Campus Child Care Homes Network.

Additionally, U-M families can rely on the WLRC’s child care referral specialist, LaKeisha Vereen, who can provide guidance and even contact providers directly for parents to see if there are openings available to meet the family’s needs.

“Before we were able to offer Web-based searches all of our child care referrals were provided individually to help parents find child care, so we are coming full circle and emphasizing that human touch,” McAlpine says. “We can help people make informed choices. We have lots of support information to share, and (Vereen) is here to help parents make choices that work best for their family.”

Vereen is available Monday through Friday by appointment for telephone or in-person consultations with U-M families. Call the WLRC, 936-8677, and ask for the Child Care Referral Service.