With the closure of public and private schools along with many early childhood care centers, many of our employees are facing child care emergencies. This issue is very acute with those serving in critical positions within our medical centers and on campuses.
Please follow the guidance below in supporting our working parents and share this message with supervisors and managers.
- Be flexible. Staff that are in positions with duties which can be accomplished from home should be teleworking. If they now have children at home with them, please show flexibility and kindness as they juggle work and home life. This may mean that they work early morning and evening hours when their house is quieter.
- New access to sick time off. Because schools were shut due to a public health emergency, staff and student hourlies may now use an unlimited amount of their accrued sick time off for family care emergency absences.
- Back-up care services. UW’s back-up childcare services through Bright Horizons and Kindercare are still operational, but have limited capacity. Both services offer spaces to UW at their local centers; Bright Horizons also has a service that will send a care provider to an employee’s home. We encourage this option be prioritized for staff essential for campus and medical center operations and don’t have other child care options.
- UW Child Care Centers. UW’s childcare centers on campus and in our medical centers are still operational. We are working closely with the centers to see if they can welcome additional children of critical employees on a temporary basis as space allows.
- Additional services in development. UWHR is working as quickly as possible to add additional resources for child care and will share them through email as they are available. By early next week we hope to add some additional capacity and resources for staff essential to university and medical center operations.
Again, I am strongly encouraging you to extend flexibility and kindness to our working parents. UW CareLink is available 24/7 and offers service in multiple languages to benefits-eligible faculty and staff who may need additional support in navigating these extraordinary times.
Mindy Kornberg J.D.
Vice President for Human Resources
University of Washington