This message is shared on behalf of Executive Vice President Hof Milam and Provost Rogan Kersh.
Navigating the pandemic has presented all of us with novel opportunities and challenges in the ways we work and collaborate with one another. Remote learning and work allowed us to uphold the mission of the university through the most critical phases of the pandemic. Employees who were also caring for dependents during this time experienced different, often more acute, challenges. As we begin to emerge from this phase of the pandemic, some caregiving stressors are lifting and others remain.
Access to early childhood education is one of those remaining challenges. Prior to March 2020, considerable work was completed on an analysis of employee childcare needs at Wake Forest. The onset of the pandemic brought with it a great deal of financial and operational uncertainty, prompting us to pause this important work. Now, as university operations begin to normalize, we are returning to that analysis and a careful evaluation of the possibilities for moving forward.
Institutional support for work-life integration is an important part of attracting, recruiting, and retaining faculty and staff at today’s great universities. Though the landscape continues to shift, we are once again exploring the paths the university can take to increase access to high quality early childhood education for our community. As a first step, we are actively exploring the possibility of partnering with another institution to expand availability of care with prioritized status for Wake Forest employees. We are also working with community leaders to explore ways to incentivize the development of expanded care options in Winston-Salem. Because availability of early childcare education is a concern across the community, we hope that working with other major employers and local leaders will result in a more sustainable network of options for working families across the Triad.
We are grateful to the faculty and staff members who have continued to make sure this topic stays at the top of our list of initiatives to reinvigorate as we move thoughtfully into this next phase of our shared journey.
Executive Vice President
Categories: Inside WFU, University Announcement
Tags: Child Care, Hof Milam, Rogan Kersh
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