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Guidance for Employee Childcare

Updated July 24, 2020

Dear Fellow Members of the Western New England University Community,

We know that many of you with dependent children are deeply worried and concerned about how public schools and day cares will operate in the fall.  Many school districts have already put out plans, although it is not yet certain if these will change.  Will schools have rotating schedules for students that include some days online?  Every other week in-person instruction?  Not all day care facilities may have reopened, and, even if they have, we remain concerned about possible transmission of COVID-19 among our children and to our families.  Let’s face it – it is going to be a challenging fall for many trying to balance care of their children and work responsibilities no matter what happens.

Please be assured that the University recognizes these concerns. But we need your help to help you.  If you are a parent or guardian with dependent children and are concerned about how to balance work and child care responsibilities this fall, please write to Ms. Joanne Ollson, our Assistant Vice President and Director of Human Resources, at joanne.ollson@wne.edu, explaining your situation.  Be specific.  Is your work schedule a challenge?  Are policies about children in the work place a challenge?  What special challenges does your school district’s plans for fall create? Are there other issues? Once we have a better sense of challenges you are facing and why, we will work towards whatever common sense solutions we can find to help in this difficult time.  So many of our employees are expected to help college students learn and thrive while now also being responsible for helping to educate their own children.  If you are in that group, please, be in contact with Ms. Ollson over the next week so that we can begin to plan.  September is coming quickly!

Be safe and be well.  We entered the pandemic as a community, and we will survive the pandemic as a community.

Best,
Dick Wagner
Vice President for Finance and Administration