Why doesn’t UO have more openings for child care?

It’s hiring season, and prospective hires often have at least one of these two sometimes unspoken questions:

  1. How hard will it be to find a partner here?
  2. How hard will it be to find good child-care here?

The answer to question 2 should be “easy”, but it’s not. The University runs the Vivian Olum Child Development Center – like many good things at UO, started by former President Paul Olum and his wife:

The Vivian Olum Child Development Center is the culmination of many years of work by members of the university community shaped by the vision of Dr. Paul Olum, president emeritus of the University of Oregon. Dr. Olum provided a large share of funding for building phase one of the center in honor of his late wife, Dr. Vivian Olum, UO associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, whose professional activities and research focused on helping children and families. The center is named in her memory.

But it now has a very long waiting list. Years long, I’m told. All but impossible for new hires with infants, because siblings of current kids get priority. From their website:

We know finding high-quality care that meets your needs and addresses your values is of utmost importance to you. We do our best to accommodate the needs of families on our wait list. Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee a place when it is needed, regardless of priority status.

Time to expand? UO owns plenty of convenient land including some contiguous with the Olum site, has renowned developmental and educational Psychology programs with presumably interested undergraduate student workers, has ample bond financing available, and economies of scale and bulk diaper purchases should drive down the cost.

The Faculty Union proposal is here:

The Administration has not yet responded. If anyone knows more about this issue please post a comment.

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11 Responses to Why doesn’t UO have more openings for child care?

  1. zach says:

    Same reason they leave many of the affordable homes in East Campus Family Housing ( while they have a long wait list to get in) empty and unmaintained….they want families to just to not exist anymore. UO Housing got audited during the battle to demolish Amazon Housing. They should be again. They would be if any reporter asked them difficult questions or wrote about the things they get away with in any amount of detail. I think the good reporters all went the way of the Do Do bird though.

  2. Observer says:

    That’s not the only childcare facility especially open to faculty — Moss Street Childcare Center is open to UO students and faculty, and is much larger. That’s where all the faculty kids I know go. Last I heard, Moss Street was also more convenient than Olum, because Olum requires you to pack up lunches for your kid, but Moss Street provides the lunches. This may sound trivial but it’s a big help to an overworked parent.

    • uomatters says:

      Not trivial at all. The Moss Street website is https://moss.uoregon.edu/how-to-apply. No info on the waitlist length, but it says:

      Space will be offered to families based on their status during fall term, in the following order:

      Full-time UO students* returning to Moss Street
      Part-time UO students* returning to Moss Street
      Full-time UO students* new to Moss Street
      Part-time UO students* new to Moss Street
      UO Community Education Program students* returning to Moss Street
      UO Community Education Program students* new to Moss Street
      UO faculty and staff families returning to Moss Street
      UO faculty and staff families new to Moss Street

      • Old Gray Mare says:

        Moss Street was great, in the old space under the EMU, in the old houses on Moss Street, and in the newer center. But as faculty it was hard getting more than part time. HR used to keep a list of baby-sitting prospects, with references. Do they still do that?

    • Annonymous says:

      So faculty will have childcare subsidized, but not staff employees (OAs, classified)? Hmmm.

  3. Adopted Handle says:

    This is not an issue that is unique to UO or Eugene. Childcare is expensive and hard to find everywhere. State requirements are prohibitive to providing childcare in a cost effective fashion. Apparently when you take care of your own kid, no one cares what level of education or experience you have, but if its someone else’s kid you have to have a degree and years of training. That’s fine, but there’s a cost associated to that. It would definitely be a benefit to employees to have UO provided childcare options, but it may not pencil at defined rates. I’m definitely in favor of UO providing low-cost housing and childcare for employees (I would personally benefit from neither), but every dollar we spend on that is likely to take away from the core mission. Absent additional State funds or a re-alignment of donor priorities (“Tots running Track” anyone?) I don’t see how we could accomplish this without leaning more on tuition.

  4. CSN says:

    I notice you don’t have anything to say about Issue 1. ;-)

    • uomatters says:

      I have no issues with #1, and I’m told the feeling is mutual.

    • Only the lonely says:

      I have an issue with #1. I’ve been waiting for speed dating here for years.

      • uomatters says:

        I’m no libertarian, but given the inability of the Union and the Administration to deal with simple things like parking, you might want to consider a free-market solution to this matching problem.

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