Task force created to look into affordable child care on campus


Due to a lack of high-quality affordable child care on campus, Iowa State has created a task force.

Morrgan Zmolek

Iowa State is tackling the lack of high-quality affordable child care available on campus with the help of a task force formed last fall.

This task force was given the assignment of seeking out both short-term and long-term implementations that would aid in this issue. A report on those findings is expected to be published next month.

Kristi Darr, interim vice president of university human resources; Carolyn Cutrona, graduate college associate dean; and Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty, are all co-chairs working on this task force together.

“As the task force works through its recommendations, we have been focusing on creating strong community partnerships and talking about how to sustain the momentum from the group,” Darr said. “Appropriately addressing the child care needs is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It will take a collaborative effort over a long period of time to address the needs that we have as a community.”

The task force is reviewing recommendations from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, a report compiled by a faculty experience workgroup, and input from the University Child Care Committee and Iowa State’s child care and family resources office, including its 2015 feasibility study. Child care access also was a common issue identified in the 2017 campus climate survey.

In addition, there was a student survey sent out this month by child care and family resources that students who are soon-to-be parents or who already have a child are encouraged to complete so that the task force can have as much data possible about the population of student parents.

The survey should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes.

Participation in this survey is voluntary, and respondents’ answers will be kept completely anonymous and confidential. Individuals who complete the survey have the option to be entered into a drawing for one of eight $25 Visa gift cards.

To ensure anonymity, there is a link at the end of the survey that will redirect respondents to a separate form where they can enter their contact information for the gift card drawing.

“With this survey, we hope to obtain direct information regarding the lives and experiences of student parents, determine the current status of and reveal gaps in institutional resources, guide development of additional supports and provide data for student-parent advocacy,” said Cris Broshar, program assistant in child care and family resources.

The child care task force is composed of 16 individuals from across the university. They are:

Milly Agai, program assistant for the Dean of Students Office.

Chelsey Aisenbrey, director for Ames Laboratory.

Claire Andreasen, director for veterinary pathology.

Tim Ashley, interim vice president for payroll, benefits and tax.

Cris Broshar, program assistant for child care and family resources.

Norin Chaudhry Yasin, graduate student in molecular cellular and developmental biology.

Eleanor Field, president of Graduate and Professional Student Senate and graduate student in entomology.

Austin Graber, president of Student Government and senior in business economics.

Julia Graden, program coordinator for child care and family resources.

Susan Lammers, residence life coordinator for the residence department.

Christine Lippard, associate professor for human development and family studies.

Ruxandra Looft, program coordinator for Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity.

Lindsay Moeller, staff recruiting specialist for university human resources.

Debra Schildroth, assistant city manager for the City of Ames.

Molly Seaboch, program coordinator for Ames Laboratory.

Ashley St. Clair, postdoc research associate for the ecology, evolution and organismal biology department.

Julia Sullivan, program manager for Student Financial Aid.