The University of Michigan has added two new ways to support faculty, staff and students with child and other dependent-care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first is free access to Care.com’s network of caregivers in the area. The second is a new family-to-family posting board to help U-M employees and students connect and exchange support.

These new programs add to the existing resources available at a time when dependent care continues to be a struggle for many U-M families. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, balancing work with caring for others in our households has been a real struggle and a cause of much stress and anxiety,” said Richard Holcomb, associate vice president for human resources. “The university continues to encourage flexibility with work arrangements, but we know parents still need more help.”

Free access to Care.com

Through an agreement with Care.com, university faculty, staff and students can access a network of caregivers for children (including tutors), adults, seniors, pets and more.

The monthly membership fee is covered by this agreement, but employees and students are responsible for the cost of the care they utilize. This benefit is available to employees and students through mid-January 2022. Visit umich.care.com to get started.

Anyone with an existing premium membership to Care.com may be eligible for a reimbursement after signing up for U-M’s Care@Work program. Contact Care.com member care at 855-781-1301 for assistance.

Family-to-family support posting board

University Human Resources has created a new online family-to-family support board for posting various needs. Employees and students can create and respond to posts about sharing resources and providing unpaid support such as occasional child care, tutoring and learning support, and elder care.

Once employees or students connect on the site, they can follow up independently to discuss arrangements.

Child care needs during COVID-19

Surveys of employees on the Ann Arbor campus and Michigan Medicine revealed significant disruptions in care plans due to COVID-19. These new programs add to the existing resources available through the Work-Life Resource Center, including:

  • Kids Kare at Home, for backup child care needs.
  • Family Helpers, which offers U-M students for hire.
  • Campus Child Care Homes Network, for ongoing weekday child care.

There are other resources throughout the community that provide child care, tutoring, learning pods and other services to meet needs faced by families. A listing can be found on the Work-Life Resource Center website.

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