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Potential new threads - Child Care

Deb Britt Deborah_Britt at brown.edu
Mon Nov 3 15:45:52 EST 1997

This reminds me of a meeting I attended not long ago, where we were
planning an upcoming research celebration for the hospital.  The original
schedule was for Nov 12 and 13, but we discussed possibly shifting the
days to the 11th and 12th to accomodate a particular speaker.  I pointed
out the Veteran's day holiday (which we do not get off) as a potential
problem for people with children in day care or school, and was met with
blank stares from the rest of the committee members.  The dates were
changed.  Guess I was the only one there with a potential child-care
conflict. Since I have to judge posters at the research event, I informed
my husband that he should not make any big plans for the 11th.  We run
into the same problem with Martin Luther King day, unrecognized by the
hospital, but a federal holiday so the daycare is closed

Child care is a huge issue for any working mother, and I think in some
ways I'm lucky to be in science, in the position I am, because I have more
flexibility in planning my own schedule than someone who is punching the
clock or has meetings with clients.  My personal preferences would be to
see nationwide generous maternity leaves (say 6 months) with at least
partial pay, and on-site child care with a sliding fee based on employee
salary.  Many parents (myself included) work out a cobbled-together system
of daycare, family help and staggered hours to maximize the amount of time
the children spend with a parent, and to minimize daycare costs (which are
unbelievable).  Lately I'm thinking that daycare is fairly easy compared
to what we'll get into next year when my older son starts school.  Of
course, I would also like to see a place on grant applications where I
could write "unproductive in the lab this year, but did manage to create
new human life!"

Deb Britt

> On 28 Oct 1997, Megan Brown wrote:
> > 
> > Can it be that Oregon Health Sciences University really does not give
> > people a holiday for Veterans' Day? Isn't it a public institution? Here in
> > Seattle, both the University of Washington (a public institution) and Fred
> > Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (a private
> > institution) give Veterans' Day off. Although many scientists work on
> > those "funny" holidays, they certainly are not required to by their
> > institutions. It bothers me that many scientific events go on "as
> > usual" on these official days off.

Deborah Britt, Ph.D.
Department of Medical Oncology
Rhode Island Hospital

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