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The University of Maryland announced an expansion of family care services and resources for employees and graduate assistants in a campuswide email Monday.
The university launched a webpage for those looking for help with child care and caregiving responsibilities, formed a new partnership with Care.com — a service that helps families find caregivers for a variety of needs including child care and senior care — and created a program manager of family care resources position in the University Human Resources department, according to the email.
“We recognize that no one intervention will address every caregiving situation, however, it is our hope that these new efforts will assist many families,” wrote Darryll Pines, university president, and Rythee Lambert-Jones, the interim assistant vice president of the department.
The launch of Care@Work, the partnership with Care.com, will provide faculty, staff, certain contractual employees and graduate assistants with free premium Care.com memberships, according to the email.
Those individuals will also have access to two subsidized backup caregiving options for children or adults and elders. The first option provides access to in-home or in-center care providers, which will be covered through a co-pay. The second option provides partial reimbursement for a provider in an individual’s network, according to the email.
The work behind these new services began last fall when the Caregiver Options Workgroup came together to find resources and options to ease challenges related to caregiving. The workgroup reviewed existing resources and information from peer institutions, conducted a survey and explored benefit options, according to the email.
The university has come under fire in the past as graduate students and other community stakeholders have criticized the university’s lack of resources for students with children. In September, a survey found a gap between child care needs and university-provided services.