There are few things more important than taking care of our loved ones. In the last few years, the needs of our families have evolved, yet at the same time, we have encountered varying availability in community resources, services, and support systems. It should be no surprise that these challenges have contributed to increased stressors for each of us, the institution, the community, and across the country.
WE’VE HEARD YOU. Childcare and eldercare are a critical need. Enhancing and growing dependent care resources, options, and financial support to the UVA community is a primary goal and we are committed to making a difference.
This message is to serve as the first of many updates (anticipated at least quarterly) to keep the community apprised of our efforts. Over the past few months, there has been considerable progress made toward understanding the collective needs of the UVA Community and reaching the goal of increased dependent care.
SOME USEFUL FACTS
Access to affordable and quality early childhood education is a pressing concern for many working parents and there are challenges in availability of care across our region. For example, in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area, there are sixty-three licensed childcare centers with a maximum capacity for 4,119 children. Four of these centers are UVA affiliated, and account for the daily care of 487 children ages infant to six. Most are currently operating at capacity, with many maintaining an active wait list for care.
RECENT ACTIONS TAKEN BY UVA
- Formed the Family Support Collab, a cross-functional group of stakeholders responsible for providing recommendations to UVA leadership on creative ideas to improve dependent care programming and resources across Grounds. This group is responsible for delivering an annual report of recommendations once a year, with the most recent report found HERE.
- Evaluated feasibility of expanding hours of operation at the Malcolm Cole Child Care Center.
- Began renovations of the Malcolm Cole facility to add twelve spaces which will immediately reduce the current waitlist for infant care.
- Dedicated a full-time resource to manage all of UVA’s dependent care programs.
- Consolidated the management of UVA childcare vendor-partners to a central team within UVA Human Resources.
1. Formal Childcare Needs Assessment launches today, January 19, 2023
In order for UVA to have a comprehensive picture of the needs of working families, we will be conducting a needs assessment for all UVA Academic and UVA Health employees and team members. Bright Horizons will administer this survey tool. Be on the lookout in your email for an invitation to participate and help us inform our decision-making process regarding needs for childcare supports.
2. Site Visits on Potential Locations
UVA is actively evaluating current facilities and potential sites to expand capacity for childcare. More details will be shared as this effort progresses.
3. 2023 Family Support Collab
This team will reconvene in February to set 12-month goals and propose new initiatives to support the community. A list of representatives, who are actively soliciting feedback, can be found on FSC webpage.
Filed Under: Community