Imperial College London is first university to offer emergency child and adult care

Imperial College London is the first university in the UK to offer its staff access to emergency child and adult care, as part of a new service to support parents and carers at the College.

Date of article: 20-Jan-14

Article By: Sue Learner, News Editor

The new service is being rolled out in partnership with My Family Care, a specialist provider of family-friendly services and resources, to provide all staff with access to three backup care services – emergency childcare, school holiday cover and backup adult and eldercare.

Professor James Stirling, provost of Imperial, said: “Imperial recognises that parents and carers, who make up a significant proportion of our staff, can find it challenging to juggle the demands of work and family. This initiative is part of our continuing commitment to ensuring that Imperial staff receive the support and help that they need to balance these responsibilities.”

The College will fund the registration costs to My Family Care, with the staff then paying for any care depending on how long services are required.

As a parent of three children under the age of five, Dr Victoria Salem, clinical lecturer in the Department of Medicine and Athena SWAN co-ordinator for the Faculty of Medicine, believes it will be a valuable source of support for working parents.

She said: “I know that My Family Care will be a valuable source of support for working parents. I’m looking forward to having peace of mind that I’ll be able to proceed with an important meeting or experiment even if my usual childcare arrangements fall through.”

Staff will also have access to the Imperial Work + Family Space – an online resource that also provides advice, information and both practical and emotional support to help staff balance the demands of work and family. The resource also provides information on clubs and activities to fill childcare gaps during the school holidays.

This step comes in response to the 2012 Maternity and the 2013 Paternity Surveys, in which more than half of respondents called for back-up childcare provision at the College.