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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 27, 2006

UI Task Force Recommends Nearly Doubling On-Campus Childcare Openings

A University of Iowa task force formed last fall to address the availability and accessibility of childcare for UI faculty, staff, and students has issued its recommendations. The report is available at:

Among the Child Care Task Force's four primary recommendations is a proposal that the UI increase the number of campus-connected, center-based slots from the current 102 to 200 to reduce the number of faculty, staff, and students on waiting lists for on-campus childcare.

The committee suggested two strategies to achieve that goal: by contracting, through a competitive selection process, with providers housed in newly leased or acquired space; and by partnering with community child care centers within a one-mile radius of campus.

The task force's report does not impact Bright Horizons, a private child-care provider contracted by UI Hospitals and Clinics primarily for hospital faculty and staff and housed in the Westlawn Building.

Along with availability, the task force found that many parents and guardians in the UI community are concerned about the rising cost of childcare. Currently, the UI offers eligible graduate/professional and undergraduate student parents subsidies, based on income. And faculty and staff can make use of the Dependent Care Spending Account Program, which allows employees to use flex credits and to set aside pre-tax dollars from their paychecks to cover childcare costs.

The task force's final two recommendations are to develop resources for backup childcare and care for mildly ill children, and to enhance awareness about childcare options.

Members of the Child Care Task Force are Dennis Domsic, finance and operations; Lola Lopes, professor emeritus, management & organizations; Susan Johnson, office of the provost; Sandra Barkan, graduate college; Cathy Fountain, business manager's office, Andrew Ives, business manager's office; Belinda Marner, student services; Rodney Lehnertz, facilities management; Charles Drum, university relations; Laura Reed, organizational effectiveness/human resources; Joni Troester, WorkLife/human resources; and Jane Holland, family services/human resources.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Joni Troester, Human Resources, 319-335-2692,; Writer: Stephen J. Pradarelli, University News Services, 319-384-0007,