The College's Employee Benefits Advisory Committee (EBAC) has been assessing the possibility of offering on-campus childcare.
The assessment process was aided by an external consultant who recommended that the College instead consider offering a back-up child and adult/elder care program for staff, faculty and students. Please take a survey to help us gauge the possible usage of this benefit. Click here for the survey.
Saint Mary's College has recently retained Bright Horizons, a world leading provider of employer-sponsored child and adult/elder care, early education, and work-life solutions to consult and advise the college on whether it should provide or sponsor some type of child and elder care program for faculty, staff and students. Based on an initial assessment of our dependent care needs, Bright Horizons has conducted some preliminary findings which you can find here and here.
There are three factors for Saint Mary's College to consider in providing campus dependent care.
- Is there demand for child care services among faculty, staff and students?
- Is there space on or near the campus to place a child care center?
- Does the college have the resources to finance the undertaking?
Brief Overview of Study Findings:
Bright Horizons conducted a preliminary analysis which included a demographic assessment of all staff, faculty and student populations (497 faculty, 444 staff and all undergraduate and graduate student demographics). In addition Bright Horizons conducted on-campus interviews of representatives from Staff Council, Faculty Welfare Committee, Facilities, Student Life, Human Resources and the Vice President for Finance.
1. There is not enough demand to support campus child care for the following reasons:
- Few children under 6 years of age given the mature workforce and the overall small full-time workforce size.
- Long commutes for many faculty, staff and graduate students.
- Faculty are not on campus daily.
- Graduate students are primarily on campus nights and weekends.
- Affordability challenges for staff and undergraduates.
2. Space is not available,
- The campus is maxed out on available space with current priority going to faculty offices and housing.
- The campus has challenges in expansion given the uneven terrain which requires costly grading or land filing.
- The one off-site location owned by the college has a site permit requiring the amount of parking spaces be maintained thereby precluding the construction of a playground on the parking lot.
3. Finances are not available to fund a center without making trade-offs
- Saint Mary's college's primary source of funding is student tuition.
- Some current priorities are pension funds, medical insurance for retirees, and then child care, elder care and transportation services.
- A capital campaign would be needed to fund a start-up program and an on-going campaign may be required to fund the annual operating costs.
Back-Up Dependent Care:
What is Back-Up Dependent Care?
A program that allows faculty and staff to work when regular forms of child and adult/elder care are not available
Provides care for:
- Well children of all ages
- Mildly ill children of all ages
- Adult/elder care
- Provides back-up care for emergencies as well as times when there are planned gaps in regular care
- Provides care for dependents of faculty and staff throughout the country-when needed to accommodate for work-related travel, elders who live elsewhere, etc.
To help us assess the viability of this dependent care back up program, please complete this short survey: