February 7, 2008

New Child Care Center Set to Open in August

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Chair of Cornell’s Child Care Services Committee Amy Richter grad gave a presentation at the Employee Assembly meeting yesterday, explaining in detail how the center will be operated.
The child care center, currently under construction near the A-Lot on North Campus, is scheduled to open in August.
The center will open with 158 spots for children, which will be broken down into specific sections for infants, toddlers, and pre-school aged children. The center will be available to the entire Cornell community, with equal access to faculty, employee, and graduate student groups.
Admission to the center will be determined by lottery, with no spots set aside for specific demographic groups, so any community member that applies will share an equal chance of having a child admitted.
“We want to make sure the lottery process is as fair as possible,” said Richter. “And that is why we have created a system that allocates slots equally.”
The development of an on-campus child care center is the result of the large need among Cornell staff, faculty and graduate students for affordable and accessible child care.
According to Richter, there is a “massive demand for infant care” in Ithaca.
Although exact tuition rates for all employee income levels have not been set, Richter announced that tuition for those with incomes over $150,000 a year will be $290 a week. That cost will vary depending on the age of the child. Tuition for all employees is projected to be no more than 15 percent of a family’s income.
The Board of Trustees recently approved an increase in amount of child care benefits available to employees as part of a comprehensive benefit package.
Lynette Chappell-Williams, director of the Office of Workforce Diversity, Equity and Life Quality at Cornell, also addressed the E.A. about the need to make “Cornell a great place to work for working families.”
“There is a lot that we still need to be doing,” she said. “We are in the process of creating a strategic plan.”
Chappel-Williams also announced the creation of a new position to manage work/family programs for employees. The position will be designed to assist employees dealing with infant and elder care issues.