To better understand the caregiving challenges facing students, faculty and staff, Wayne State University’s Daycare Implementation Committee wants to hear from everyone — with or without children — about their current situations and future child care requisites.
Conducted on behalf of the Office of the Provost, in partnership with the Center for Urban Studies, the Child Care Survey will be used to facilitate planning for child care resources, along with helping guide priorities and future projects to help the Wayne State community.
“Our committee is focused on two things right now,” said Loraleigh Keashly, chair of the Daycare Implementation Committee. “We want to understand the experience of our faculty, student and staff parents/caregivers regarding the pandemic, while also getting a sense of their needs for child care in the scenario of a full return to campus sometime in the future.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, every Wayne State email address will receive an individualized link to the survey. Keashly encourages everyone to be on the lookout and fill it out as soon as possible. Random drawings for a variety of prizes, such as an iPad, an Ember self-heating coffee mug, and Amazon and Beyond Juice + Eatery gift cards, will be held as an incentive for the campus community to give their input. Keashly wants to make clear that the survey is not just for those with children — everyone should respond.
“When I say everybody, I mean, we want people who don't have kids or whose kids don't require child care anymore. We want your opinion,” Keashly said. “This is a Wayne State University community issue. While the survey’s first section focuses on parents and caregivers, the latter part is on awareness about the centers on campus, current partnerships, the Detroit Parent Collective, WSU benefits, policies and more.”
The Daycare Implementation Committee was created in October 2016 by the Provost’s office to look into the current state of child care options available to students, staff and faculty, both on campus and in Midtown. Prior to the committee’s implementation, results from a previous internal survey showed that the campus community was very interested in affordable, quality day care options, both full and part time, for children of all ages. “We know that not one certain type of child care service addresses all needs,” Keashly said. “And that’s why we are very interested in developing and supporting options that are flexible and accessible.”
In addition to Keashly, members of the Daycare Implementation Committee are:
- Sharon Lean, associate professor, and associate dean for student success for the Graduate School
- Matthew Piszczek, assistant professor, Mike Ilitch School of Business
- Sarah Doyle, ASO II, School of Social Work
- Anna Miller, lecturer, College of Education, and executive director of WSU’s two child care centers
- Tim Michael, AVP for Student Auxiliary Services and Chief Housing Officer
- Nick Board, Interim Associate Director, SAS Operations
- Sarah Watts, WSU Student Senate, College of Education senior
In August 2019, to help ease the burden of finding reliable child care options and resources for WSU students, faculty and staff, an all-encompassing child care resources website was launched to help take out some of the guesswork. The site includes information on relevant WSU policies and benefits that pertain to managing child care and other family issues.
Wayne State currently has two on-campus child care centers (Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute and the College of Education), serving children 3 to 5 years old. Keashly said a partnership is also developing with the Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corporation to establish a licensed child care center in a renovated school building near the campus.
“This center would open, hopefully, fall 2021 and would join the two on campus child care centers that we currently operate,” she said. “Krista McClure of The Detroit Parenting Collective (DPC) also approached WSU about opening a co-working space with onsite child care with a focus on student-parents with infants and toddlers. The DPC@Wayne will be opening this month.”