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Friday, September 29, 2023


STAFF EDITORIAL: Impromptu childcare programs show true University spirit

School may be back in session here at UH, but many area elementary and high schools remain closed. While most individuals are getting back into the swing of classes, the task is a little more difficult for faculty, staff and students with children. Thankfully they had a little help this week.

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center opened its doors to children who, unlike their parents, attend schools that have yet to recover enough to open their doors. Volunteers will take care of children ages 2 to 12 throughout the week while parents resume normal life as best they can.

The UH community is a diverse one: students double as parents holding down one or more jobs and faculty and staff have children and live in a number of surrounding cities. When a disaster hits, as with Hurricane Ike, it not only affects that community, it affects members’ family and friends. It’s good to see those at the Recreation Center recognize this and reach out a hand to help.

The Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that 70 schools in the Houston Independent School District remained closed and weren’t expected to open until Monday. This leaves most working parents with two options, neither of which are very good: either hiring someone to watch their children or bringing them to work.

Last week students, faculty and staff were encouraged to bring their children to work or class if they needed to, but such a situation surely makes working difficult, especially if one has young children – it can’t be easy to watch a 2-year-old while teaching.

The daycare services now offered ease the strain on parents, and individuals on campus worked to make them available as soon as possible. The Honors College offered temporary childcare Monday and associate English professor Ann Christensen was busy working throughout the weekend to organize the efforts.

Offering childcare services on campus is a smart solution to a serious problem, but finding that solution should not have been the sole responsibility of individuals. We believe the administration should have had a bigger role in getting childcare set up and should have acted in that role last week. Luckily for many parents, attentive people took charge and made this valuable service possible.

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