About the University

Parenting and Childcare Review

Progress update - January 2018

Background

In 2017 the University set up a Parenting and Childcare Working Group,led by Professor Candy Rowe, to undertake a comprehensive review of the current support for staff and student parents.
 
The aim of the review was to:
  • Evaluate Newcastle University’s current childcare provision in relation to the needs of parents, and identify areas where we can improve.
  • Develop and propose initiatives, policies and cultural changes to address issues raised by staff and students that will better enable them to balance their family commitments with their study, work and career aspirations.
  • Recommend changes to key University Committees for implementation.
The Working Group invited staff and students to participate in surveys and focus groups between January and April 2017.  The key issues included: childcare provision, policies and support around periods of extended parental leave, and attitudes and culture on campus. These findings were used to inform the development of a report and implementation plan.
 

Next Steps

University Executive Board (UEB) considered the report from the Parenting and Childcare Working Group on 28th November 2017.  They recognised the University's offer to staff and student parents could be significantly improved, and committed to a 3 year plan to become a more family friendly institution.  This will be led by the University Executive Board Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Phillip Wright.  

An Implementation Group will be set up in early 2018, and will be supported by an annual budget of £15K per annum to support scoping exercises to:

  • Increase childcare support on and around campus
  • New initiatives
  • Improving communications around family friendly policies
  • Supporting events
  • Networking for parents

We recognise that there is still further work to do in terms of support for staff and student carers.  The Implementation Group will explore whether this work should be carried out as separate project or accommodated within the scope of the 3 year plan.