The final days of summer can be pretty hectic for parents. It’s time to deflate the pool and buy school supplies. Before you know it, you’ll be digging out that buried bin of Halloween decorations. August into September can be an adjustment as the summer schedule shifts to the school year. For DePaul faculty and staff members who also happen to be parents, the university offers some great benefits that can help manage your time and well-being.
Nancy Hashimoto is a parent, DePaul staff member and the
founder of DePaul Parents Connect. She explains, “There are a number of wonderful things DePaul provides as a benefit for working parents. From flexible
scheduling to adoption assistance to nursing rooms to backup care. To
help with the high prices of child care, DePaul allows employees to enroll in a
pre-tax salary deduction through the Dependent Care Flexible Savings Account, a
discount at Little Gems Academy, and backup care through Bright Horizons. And, we can’t say enough about the tuition benefit for dependent children and the tuition exchange program.”
Nancy touched on many of the reasons why working for DePaul can be supportive for parents. Let’s explore four of these benefits that may not be as evident as saving on tuition expenses…
Bright Horizons Back-Up Care
Perhaps you’ve got the family schedule figured out. Everything is going according to plan. But what about that morning when the sitter gets sick? Or schools go on strike? Or you forgot about Teacher Institute Day? Whenever the unexpected happens, Bright Horizons Back-Up Care can help. It offers affordable child and adult care for benefits-eligible part and full-time faculty and staff. Take your child to one of their centers or request in-home care. Bright Horizons can help you miss work less and use your time away from work more efficiently.
Sheila O’Neill of Bright Horizons, the Midwest Client Relations Director, explains, “Breakdowns in your regular child or adult/elder care arrangements cause stressful disruptions that can affect your ability to successfully balance competing personal and professional demands. You can rely on Bright Horizons Back-Up Care program where and when you need it most.”
Employee Assistance Program
This is another important resource offered by the university. Is something causing you to lose sleep at night? Perhaps the Employee Assistance Program
(EAP) can help. It provides convenient, confidential access to counseling and online educational resources. The EAP can help address personal issues, plan
for big life events or just assist in managing your daily life. The Employee Assistance Program is a great place to discuss and sort out anything that may be causing stress or distress
in your life.
The Adoption Assistance Reimbursement Program is designed to assist full-time faculty and staff members by reimbursing 100% of eligible expenses related to the adoption of an eligible child up to a $2,000 per adoption. Adoption can be expensive, and everything helps.
DePaul Parent Connection
The DePaul Parent Connection was established in May 2015 to provide opportunities for DePaul faculty and staff to network, learn, socialize, and mentor one another and to foster opportunities and resources for engagement and community building. The group serves as an institutional advisory group on issues related to parenting and aims to be an advocate for and address the needs of parents among DePaul employees.
Founding member Nancy Hashimoto explains, “When I came back from my first maternity leave I developed my own support group of fellow moms and we had quarterly lunches to connect with one another. When I learned that there was a similar group in Student Affairs I decided that we need something that includes everyone around the university. I saw it as an opportunity to learn from one another, connect to colleagues on a personal level, and to utilize the knowledge we have here within our own community.”
Nancy adds, “Aside from the HR benefits, DePaul is a great place to work as a parent because of the community and spirit of DePaul. Everyone is supportive of one another and take the time to care for one another as individuals. It’s really wonderful to have the opportunity to make connection with one another on a more personal level and to be supportive of each other. It’s important for work/life balance and I’m thankful that DePaul has been so supportive.”
More DePaul Parent Connection info:
Topics of past events include: Potty Training, Encouraging Reading & Selecting Books, Navigating CPS, Preparing for Baby, Understanding Teenagers and Choosing Preschool and Kindergarten
Parents, grandparents, expecting parents, and future parents can join our group by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to find upcoming
events, check out the DePaul Parent Connection website.