Opinion Column at the Brown Daily Herald supports University daycare

Take care of Daycare


From the article:

“If you’re an undergraduate reading this column, you probably have more pressing concerns than who will care for your future kids between infancy and preschool. But if we want there to be reliable options in place if and when the time for children comes, we need to start pushing for them now.”




New president talks to faculty about institutional priorities, daycare in mentioned



From the article:
“Schlissel acknowledged the recent controversy around the closing of the Taft Avenue Daycare Center, calling it “a huge disruption” for the families involved. He added that the University “worked hard to mitigate” the consequences of the closure,  noting that a committee on the subject was formed during the summer.”




What the petitions signers are saying to Brown

From the comments section on the petition to Brown University to keep Taft Avenue Daycare Center open:

“I am so disappointed if the daycare will be shut down. I just planned to send my daughter in this summer. I sincerely hope President will change the mind.” Research Fellow

“As a childless student, I stand in solidarity with those who care for children at Brown.” Student

“I am a parent of 3 children. And though I do not use the Taft facility as I live in MA, I believe that providing affordable daycare is critical.  This seems like a completely backwards approach to daycare for the Brown community. Not only is 3 months ridiculously short notice in the current daycare environment where reservation of slots is often required for babies 6-12 months head of time, so this short notice is dreadful and completely irresponsible on Brown’s part.  My father, now retired, ran an organization of close to 1,000 employees for close to 20 years and he was most proud of providing affordable on-site day care.  I would have thought Brown to be more forward looking than a company thinking about day care in the early 1990’s.  This is very sad. ” Faculty

“While my children are now 21 and 15 yrs old, when I first arrived at Brown the challenge of finding quality infant care so I could set up my lab and research program was nearly impossible.  I’m afraid we are severely handicapping many talented men and women who join the Brown faculty because so much of their time is spent trying to balance sub-optimal child care with their scholarly pursuits. ” Faculty

“A daycare is a critical resource in any community. If it costs too much to maintain, let’s make it more cost-efficient – this can be done. But there is no justification for excluding parents from studying and working at Brown, some of whom may be our most impassioned and motivated peers.”  Student

“This daycare plan should be one of the last things that Brown University should even consider cutting.  It is a great resource to the faculty at Brown, and could be reason enough for a student or faculty member to end their time at this institution.” Student

“Closing the day care center is a decision that is not only highly insensitive to the parents who currently utilize it, but it sends a message that Brown as an institution that is not inclusive to those who may want to have children. Closing such an institution will disproportionally affect low income staff, faculty & students, not to mention as females. To me, such a decision is sending the message that motherhood is not compatible with pursuing a career, a ridiculous assertion. Brown cannot neglect its role to support all faculty, staff and students. ” Student

“I have worked at Brown for nearly 5 years and am expecting my first child this summer. I have been signed up for months to start my child at Taft in November. Having my child in a nearby daycare that is part of the Brown community is vital to me. Access to this service is one of the many good reasons I have remained a loyal employee of Brown. Please save Taft!” Staff

“My daughter just turned 3 and we hated having to leave Taft at that point.  To find out that the Center will be closed completely is just shocking.  An expectant friend and co-worker was scheduled to bring her child to Taft in a few months, and I can’t imagine how she must feel right now, knowing that she will have to find alternative childcare arrangements.” Staff

“Brown cannot hope to remain competitive in recruiting new faculty or graduate students without child day care.  It is among the top list of things that is asked about whenever a faculty or graduate student with children or a spouse is interviewing at Brown, and asking incoming faculty to make a decision between having affordable and convenient daycare for their children somewhere else, or coming to Brown and not having that option, is going to seriously impede all the progress that Brown has made in the last few years in becoming a competitive research environment. This is an absolutely unacceptable funding cut, and not only does it fly in the face of common sense, but it also sends Brown backwards in time, encouraging “stay-at-home” families and discouraging especially women from having professional careers as well as family lives. I am incredibly ashamed of my institution for this decision, and I earnestly hope that this petition will allow the leadership at Brown to see the importance of a daycare center to Brown’s reputation and quality.” Graduate Student

“Brown should be supporting, not discouraging, people who wish to combine a life in academia with having children. What is especially frustrating about this decision is how disproportionately it will affect women. I truly don’t understand the reasoning behind it.” Student

“We alums care too.  Having been a co-founder of the Sarah Doyle Center in the early 70’s, I’m certainly dismayed to see Brown backsliding so notably in your attention to women’s and families’ issues, more than 30 years later. Exactly what does this decision say about the University’s values? I hate to think. OK, fine, bringing the center up to standards may be a challenge – but surely not one that a great university can’t handle. It’s time to do the right – and smart – thing.” Alum

“C’mon Brown – this is disgraceful. ” Alum

Over 800 signatures: more from the comments

From the comments on the petition to stop the closing of the Taft Avenue Daycare center at Brown University:

“”The level of support for parents at Brown was already much lower than an institution that brands itself as socially responsible should be able to live with. Brown needs to understand this: Good scholars have children too. And if you’re not willing to take that into account I am sure other institutions will.” Graduate Student

“I am neither a parent nor planning to become one soon, however it is our responsibility as a community to support the people with children at Brown who make this university run as much as the rest of us.” Graduate Student

“I am still trying to figure out how this move forms part of Brown’s effort of facilitating graduate students to go through the program faster, which is one of the newly introduced changes? Or, for that matter, how does this make the transition into an academic career easier for junior faculty and post docs? Actions speak louder than words, they say. This is quite true in this instance and Brown would be wise to take a minute to understand what this regressive step says about their brand name and its marketability to incoming grad students and young faculty members.  ” Graduate Student

“This must be provided by any decent employer and especially by our alma mater! Class of ’82” Alum

“Brown University should honor its commitment to a diverse and varied community, including support for programs such as day care.  They make it possible for students whose lives do not fit an overly narrowly and outdated mold to succeed at Brown.” Graduate Student

“Although I am not a parent, I am an older non-traditional medical student. At some point in my career, well before I finish my training, I will have to have children or risk health consequences. Thus, I believe it is important to maintain childcare for children of students, faculty and staff.  I have many friends who have completed medical school or graduate school with children, but they have often said they could only have done this with institutional support and childcare. I, myself, was a product of such an environment. My mother was junior faculty in the sciences at another ivy league institution when she gave birth to me 30 years ago. Without the daycare support provided by that institution, I sincerely wonder whether my mother would have been able to achieve the success she has been able to achieve. Our educational years and the early years of our professional careers are important times to thrive. For many women, it is also the  only time we can have children without risking our own health or that of our child. I hope Brown will continue to support women and our decisions to have both families and careers and reinstate this childcare program for children under the age of 3. Thank you for considering this. ” Medical Student

“As a grad student at Brown, though not a parent, I fully support Brown’s faculty and graduate student base that rely on quality, daytime childcare to balance their schoolwork with raising a family. Given the tremendous amount of resources that Brown cultivates and invests in its undergraduate students, it is disappointing to see Brown divest in its graduate students and young faculty members just starting a family. Providing the resources for a child daycare center will not only keep Brown’s graduate programs competitive with its peer institutions, but will also demonstrate Brown’s commitment to its graduate students, faculty, and future families growing with the Brown community. Financial decisions are tough year-to-year and programs always get cut—its inevitable. Don’t let this be one of them! Find the money, make it happen!” Graduate Student

“I am flabbergasted that this is happening. As a former Brown graduate, now living in Europe, and seeing first hand, how advanced Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are in supporting working women with infants, I am ashamed that my Alma Mater would even consider, cutting such benefits. ” Alum

“As the Rabbi and spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom, a vibrant Synagogue on the East side of Providence, I can say that the decision to close this day care is a tremendous blow to those interested in raising families in our community.  It is a sad statement of misplaced priorities and should be reconsidered immediately.” Community Member

“Why are we still having to fight for this in 2012?” Alum

“”I’m an alum and a PhD and a feminist and a mother and I find this deeply troubling.  Please address the matter with broad smart thinking not short-sighted financial bottom lines.” Alum

“Bad decision!!! Dartmouth’s childcare center is spectacular, and made a huge difference in my kids’ lives. We would never have considered leaving the college once our kids started there, because it is such an incredible resource. Don’t lose good staff  because Brown can’t offer child care!” Alum

“Brown’s peers all realize that they need to assist parents of infants and toddlers with the provision of day care. Failure to so at Brown can only make it harder to recruit new faculty which would be very disappointing especially when one of the major recruiting advantages we have is touting Brown, Providence and RI as a wonderful place to live and raise a family.” Staff member

“”As someone who had children during graduate school, I can attest that affordable daycare is a critical issue for young families, particularly when they are on very limited graduate incomes.  My sons are in school now, so I was not aware of the Brown daycare situation.  This sounds completely unacceptable for any university, let alone a liberal arts, Ivy League school.  The university should put its money where its mouth is.” Faculty

” I implore you, if Taft must close, take this opportunity to establish an even better daycare option for the many postdoc parents at Brown University.  Let Brown be a leader in family friendly policies, not a lagger.” Staff Member

“I am a Brown PhD student. Although I do not yet have children, I believe easy access to employer daycare is essential to allow women to work equally with men. This is definitely a step in the wrong direction. Financial woes should not be an excuse for tactics that could negatively affect women over men. ” Graduate Student

“Could this cutback be a result of the decision to give Providence $8M per year?” Faculty