Woman coloring with children

CWRU increases support for child care during travel

Responding to a request from the Faculty Parents of Young Children organization, Case Western Reserve has significantly increased funding for child care during travel related to university work.

Effective this semester, faculty, staff and students leaving Cleveland for field research, conferences, speaking engagements or other professional activities are eligible for 33 percent higher daily support to help cover child care expenses involved in domestic travel. In addition, the university has added a second, higher category of support for those traveling to other countries.

“We deeply appreciate the university’s recognition of the increasing costs of child care in general, as well as the greater expense typically involved in international work,” said Eileen Anderson-Fye, leader of the faculty parents group. “This additional investment in members of the campus community sends a strong message regarding the sincerity of President Snyder’s commitment to work-life integration at Case Western Reserve.”

The university began offering child care assistance during professional travel in 2009 at the recommendation of the President’s Committee for Child Care Options (PCCCO), launched after the Faculty Senate identified child care as its top 2008 budget priority. The travel benefit was one of two measures the committee recommended for immediate implementation; the other involved back-up and emergency child care.

After a promising 2009 collaboration that would provide a nearby child care center option failed to progress, President Snyder appointed a second PCCCO group in 2012 and named Anderson-Fye its chair. In addition to re-emphasizing the value of a campus-based child care center, the second PCCCO also organized partnerships with local organizations to offer one-day and week-long camps for children of faculty, staff and students.

Still, the travel-support program remains one of the most popular child care benefits, and has seen usage grow in recent years. More individuals were hitting the $750 one-year cap for coverage, and the total requests began to exceed the budget allotted to the program. In a meeting with President Snyder last spring, members of the Faculty Parents group asked about potential increases; after researching the issue over the summer, staff supported the request, and President’s Cabinet endorsed the changes.

“Everybody thinks it’s a great program,” said Vice President for Human Resources Carolyn Gregory, a member of the cabinet. “It’s unique, and very much appreciated.”

As a result of cabinet’s action, the daily allocation for child care involving domestic travel moves from $75 to $100 per day, with the new international category qualifying for $150 per day. The per-person cap for all travel-related child care assistance is $1,000 per year (up from $750 per year). Learn more about the program and how to apply at case.edu/finadmin/humres/benefits/childcare.html.