What guidance can I provide to employees who are trying to navigate child care issues during COVID-19?

The university is working actively to provide additional support to employees and students who have caregiving needs, especially related to child care. We know caregiving is a major challenge given the closure of many child care centers and other services, as well as plans underway for partial or remote K-12 school reopening in many of the communities where OSU operates.

The need to keep children home may require an OSU parent or guardian to stay home to provide care. As an employer, OSU seeks to support those who need to stay home to provide for their children by acknowledging that normal expectations around remote work will be relaxed during COVID-19. Remote work arrangements at this time will assume that in many cases some employees also will be balancing child care with work activities. During this time, we anticipate that OSU families will use a variety of strategies for their situation, including engaging other family members to watch children during the workday or trading off remote work and child care. In all cases, we trust OSU families to do their best under these unprecedented circumstances, and we urge supervisors and employees to use common sense and creativity in their work plans.

Finally, while the university encourages flexibility and creativity in supporting child care strategies, we cannot support introducing children into OSU work environments during COVID-19. Bringing children, even older teenagers, to work is not an acceptable child care strategy and counter to our low-density approach. During Covid-19, supervisors are not authorized to approve such arrangements.

The OSU Family Resource Center on the Corvallis campus is available for consultation regarding alternate child care arrangements.  The center can be reached at [email protected]. Additional information provided by the Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division can be found at the Oregon Early Learning website.

In addition, OSU has an institutional membership to Care.com, where local in-home child care providers can be found. There is also an option to search for shared child care under the Care.com Nanny Share program for employees wishing to share child care costs with another family. For more information please visit to Care.com Memberships.

OSU’s new employee assistance program Beyond Benefits also can help

Please contact [email protected] should you have any additional questions.

Last Modified: 
July 10, 2020