Quality child care worth the price, faculty say
Faculty members are less concerned about the cost of child care if they can obtain high-quality University services at convenient locations, according to the findings of a Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) task force.
SACUA's Child Care Task Force presented the results of a study to the Senate Assembly Oct. 25. The task force, chaired by SeonAe Yeo, associate professor of nursing, titled its report, "Changing American Life: Responding to the Needs of Faculty with Children at the University of Michigan."
The report contains six recommendations:
• Support and increase high-quality licensed child are on campus
• Increase the flexibility of child care programs to meet faculty work needs
• Improve the cultural climate within academic units for faculty with children
• Develop a more family-friendly culture
• Encourage the provost's annual review of deans to include leadership in improving a family-friendly climate within units
• Appoint an implementation committee, and continue to monitor the needs of faculty with children.
"Child care on campus is an important issue for the University's well-being," Yeo told the Assembly. "The availability of child care affects the workplace in many ways, including faculty recruitment and retention.
"Child care affects not only parents, but also their co-workers," Yeo added. "It affects everybody. If we consider faculty, staff and students, it is likely that far more than 10,000 people are affected by child care issues on campus."
The recommendations made were based on a February online survey of 652 faculty on all three campuses.
The survey polled faculty members on whether they were using child care now, or may need it during the next three years; and if their child care needs were part- or full-time. It also asked respondents to rate child care factors such as availability, cost, quality, flexibility and location. Faculty members currently utilizing U-M child care facilities were asked to rate their satisfaction in the same categories.
Most responses came from faculty using full-time child care. They viewed quality as the most important factor, followed closely by availability and location of facilities, according to the survey.
Faculty members using U-M services rated them very high.
Other task force members were: Leslie de Pietro, coordinator of the Work/Life Resource Center; Karey Leach Fugenschuh, director of Children's Centers; Bruno Giordani, SACUA member and associate professor of psychiatry and psychology; Deborah Keller-Cohen, professor of education, linguistics and women's studies; Michelle Kosch, assistant professor of philosophy; Shelly Martinez, assistant associate provost for academic affairs; Ellen Hamilton, graduate student instructor in psychology; and Kimberly LaRochelle, student intern in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.