With university classes scheduled to begin Monday but Cuyahoga County school districts only offering remote instruction, Case Western Reserve is launching three initiatives to assist families facing fall child care challenges.
Select benefits-eligible employees will be eligible for a one-time child care subsidy of up to $600, while all faculty and staff can request to reduce their workloads and/or reserve up to three hours of drop-in care at One to One and Next Level fitness centers.
“As much as we all hoped that progress against the pandemic would allow all students to return to classes this month,” Vice President for Human Resources Carolyn Gregory said, “the summer instead saw a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. These options reflect our attempt to help employees in balancing work and parenting obligations.”
While some details surrounding processes are still being finalized, Gregory said, university leaders wanted to inform the campus community right away that they had been approved. The options apply to children in kindergarten through fourth grades.
The measures emerged through collaborative efforts among leaders of the Faculty Parents of Young Children and Staff Advisory Council, as well as the offices of the president, provost, campus services, general counsel, and human resources. Faculty Parents of Young Children leader Maggie Popkin was among the first to raise the issue with administrators, catalyzing broader conversations.
As part of those discussions, Provost Ben Vinson reallocated a portion of strategic plan funds to support the child care subsidy.
“Given the tremendous financial impact that COVID-19 continues to have on university resources,” Provost Vinson said, “the only way to support this important request was to reallocate existing funds. Providing these resources advances Pathway 4 of the Think Big strategic plan, which emphasizes campus culture.”