Seeking childcare

  A lack of on-campus childcare facilities has prompted the Staff Council to action. A letter that could enable faculty and staff members to have access to affordable childcare options on campus was approved at the Staff Council meeting Feb. 7. The issue of childcare has been viewed by UVM as an area of concern that affects the institution’s ability to recruit and retain productive faculty and staff, according to the letter written by the University Benefits Advisory Council (UBAC) and the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. “By upgrading childcare facilities at UVM, we would be providing a safer, healthier environment for kids,” Staff Council member Rodman Cory said.  “The staff council is supporting UBAC for childcare issues.” Cory said that there is also not enough childcare services available in the Burlington area. “Childcare facilities are maxed out,” he said. “There is a long waiting list for licensed childcare providers in Burlington and for faculty members with children, that is an issue.” Though the UBAC letter addressed concerns with childcare on and around campus, Cory said there are no plans yet to expand and alter childcare facilities. “There are a lot of reasons for building and expanding childcare on campus,” he said.  “Students would benefit.  We have desire for improved facilities, but no plan to build any; however, there is a recognition of need.”             The UBAC letter outlined numerous alterations that could be done to childcare programs and facilities in the future. The letter suggested that construction projects be evaluated as potential childcare facilities when new facilities are being built on campus.  “In addition to proposals for a stand-alone child care facility, consideration should be given specifically to such a project within any new Athletics facility,” the letter stated. The council also recommended combining the UVM and Trinity childcare programs into one expanded facility.             Many students said they support the construction of new childcare facilities.             “I think it’s a really good idea,” sophomore Linsey Barclay said. “It would be convenient and would benefit a lot of staff members at UVM.”             Barclay said that even though the University would be spending money on these potential facilities, it would provide income for those employed there.             Junior Jake Dearborn said he agreed with Barclay and thinks the program is a good thing for students.             “I’ve seen the childcare center at the Living and Learning Center and I think it’s a really cool way for people interested in that profession to gain hands on experience,”