As our society moves further and further onward, a growing number of people are finding themselves reverting to a lifestyle that has been a thing of the past for many years; that is to say, more and more people are having children at a younger age. Furthermore, a large number of these new parents are still in school, and are without the support of a spouse. Only a few years ago, to be in such a situation would very likely mean living with a relative, or in a home for unwed mothers, and would almost certainly mean leaving school for the workplace; how else could a young mother support her child, and pay for the childcare she needed?
Now, the emphasis on a college education is becoming more prevalent in our society. Young parents, married or not, are faced with a serious dilemma: how can they educate themselves, earn an income, and still provide their child with all of the individual attention so heavily endorsed by pediatricians? This quandary poses a nearly impossible situation for many young couples today, and even more so for single parents facing the same problems.
The possibility is significant that a university-sponsored program providing childcare would be a step in the right direction. Not only would such a program benefit faculty and staff (who also must deal with the question of the proper environment for their children during the workday), but it may also provide more options for those students who have found themselves torn between the desire and need for an education and the new obligations attached to parenthood. While many schools and businesses provide childcare for employees, very few of these programs are open to those not on staff.
We believe that opening a center for childcare to students and staff at Miami University would do more than benefit those who currently teach, work, or attend; this step may retain students who might otherwise have to leave, and potentially draw new students to the university. This can be stated with some authority, as a member of our group is married and has a child, at the age of twenty-two. While she is in a particularly good situation, in that she has a support system for her son in the form of doting grandparents, there are still difficulties. The biggest of these is that her husband cannot support their family and still go to school, himself. As a result, he has put school on the back burner until his wife graduates. Beyond this, though, she considers it a basic fact that, without her extended family, continuing with her education at Miami University would be impossible; the cost of childcare would be too great.
For other students, and for faculty, who do not have the familial assistance our group member has, a childcare program at Miami might be the difference between remaining at the university and reverting to the slow process of part-time night school at a smaller college, not to mention eliminating the need to finance a traditional form of daycare. We believe that the installation of such a program would benefit both the students of Miami University, and increase the already impressive reputation of the college in the eyes of prospective students and faculty.
The subject of childcare is a relevant topic for college students to explore because it will provide an interesting opportunity to look into the framework of our college and see how the university directly relates with a need that is brought before it. To our knowledge, university-sponsored childcare is not available to faculty or students. This study will attempt to gauge whether there is adequate support and immediate need for Miami University to take on an endeavor such as a child-care facility.
The subject of childcare is relevant and interesting to study as people of a changing society as well. Compared to past years, women of today are becoming mothers at an increasingly younger age and often rearing a child without the stability that marriage can provide. These earlier pregnancies may be contributed to the liberalization of our culture, and combined with the need for a college education to survive in any professional field; women are put in adverse positions. One of the direct results is that one can see more women in college attempting to raise a child on one income, which renders it increasingly difficult to juggle the many hats that a young single mother must wear.
The subject of childcare is a relevant topic for the group "Organized Chaos" to pursue -- one of our group members is a mother. Amy and her husband live in Cincinnati with their son, and Amy commutes to Oxford for her classes. She seems greatly annoyed, rightly so, by the fact that Miami University does not provide ample opportunities for students with children.
Resources… for further information on this topic…
“Women and Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century: Some Feminist and Global Perspectives” (Part 2 of 2). NWSA Journal 12(2), p.138+. Summer 2000
Most Kids of Working Moms in Childcare Research Alert 18(14) p.9. July 21, 2000
“Babies at Work: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of a Unique Infant Day Care Program” (Part 1 of 4). Secret, Mary; Sprang, Ginny Women & Work 1 p.93. Spring 1999.
“On Your Way: A Guide for Single Parent Students at Washington's Public Colleges and Universities.” 1993
“Description and Preliminary Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Childcare Voucher Program at the University of Washington.” Morris, Ernest R. NASPA Journal v22 n2, pp.59-63, fall 1984.
Sex Roles, vol. 42, issue 9/10, pp. 993-942, May 1, 2000.
Published by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
By: Darla R. Botkin, M. O’Neal Weeks, and Jeanette E. Morris
“Changing Marriage Role Expectations: 1961-1996”
“The present study is an update of a longitudinal study of marriage role expectations begun in 1961. Data collected in 1990 and 1996 have been added to the data set, allowing for comparisons of female students’ marriage role expectations from 1961, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990, and 1996. Comparisons include…expectations for their marriage overall as well as on the seven subscales of authority, homemaking, child care, personal characteristics, social participation, education, and employment and support.”
Sex Roles, January 1998.
By: F. Heather Davey
“Young Women’s Expected and Preferred Patterns of Employment and Child Care”
“There is a long-standing assumption in occupational psychology that most women plan their occupations to accommodate their plans for marriage and family because they place greater value on the latter roles…. More recently, researchers have found a strong commitment to both career and family roles among college women…this shift from earlier finding appears to represent an increased commitment to one’s career, with no reduction of commitment to family roles.”
Developmental Review, vol. 19, issue 1, pp. 31-96, March 1999.
Published by Academic Press
By: Elizabeth Puhn Pungello and Beth Kurtz-Costes
“Why and How Working Women Choose Child Care: A Review with a Focus on Infancy”
“Over half of mothers of infants in the United States are employed outside the home at least part-time, and most of these women must arrange for infant child care. Although many researchers have explored the effects of childcare on children [’s] developments, less is known about why and how working mother choose infant childcare. Research in this area is greatly needed because high-quality, affordable infant care is not widely available in the United States at present….”
Marriage & Family Review, vol. 27, issue 1-2, pp. 145-166, 1998.
By: Romona K. Z. Heck and Nancy C. Saltford
“Childcare Expenditures for Preschoolers: A Study of Employees in a University Setting”
“Among the 347 preschool children of employees sampled, 44.7% were cared for “in own home,” the most prevalent arrangement for preschoolers, followed by 34.3% who were cared for “in other’s home,” and 21%, or about one in five, who were in childcare centers, a rate less than the national average. Lower expenditures on childcare services were associated with using in own home care located at or near school, having older preschoolers, being in the three middle-range income brackets, and having a partner working part-time. These results suggest the need for a variety of childcare solutions and arrangements.”
Our current experiment will take the form of a survey. Our group will use statistical information gathered through the Miami University student population: those with and those without children. Our group will attend a course in surveying so that the information gathered and the means by which it was collected are unbiased and statically sound. Our group plans to involve the class in the surveying aspect. We hope that through our class we may be able to survey a wide variety in the population of Miami University students and that this will stratify our sample to make it statistically sound. As of yet, our specific plan for sampling the population entails taking in the largest number of Miami Students possible. Our date is project goal is not affected by such would-be confounding factors as race and income (although on another level this may matter, it does not hold any weight for the purposes of our lab) and we will stick to matters of opinion. Our question, which we will start to compile after our surveying course, will center on whether students believe that childcare at Miami University would be a viable resource and that such a resource may justify a slight hike in tuition. This secondary issue may or may not come into play with our lab, depending on the depth at which we plan to pursue this lab on an implementation level. In that, our group may take our data to respective authorities in the Miami University hierarchy to see if our proposal may bring about change on campus.
Our current time line is as follows:
Oct 2nd – Proposal Due
Oct 3rd, 9:30am and 2:00pm – Surveying Class
Oct 24th-26th – Distribute Surveys and Instructions to the Class
Nov. 7th-Nov 9th – Collect Surveys
Nov. 7th – Post Progress Report
Nov. 11th – Begin Statistical Compellation and Lab Work
Nov. 21st – Post Progress Report
Dec. 5th – Post Project on Web and Turn in Relevant Additions to Professor
As of yet, we have not compiled results and do intend on physically
collecting any data until the 24th of October. However, once our numerical data is compiled, we will make a displayable table before we perform any statistical operations.
In turn, we will then discuss our results after the data has been gathered and the statistical operations have been performed. Until that time, our group has no date in which to analyze. Until Nov. 7th!
Hypothesis: Though some people feel very strongly that the university should provide childcare, we do not anticipate high demand within the student population. Faculty and staff will probably have a higher rate of support for an endeavor such as this. While the implementation of accessible childcare provision would be a positive and helpful step for the parents on campus, we do not anticipate that Miami’s population will feel strongly enough to take an active supporting role in the predicament of the few.
SURVEY QUESTIONS (rough draft)
1. Do you have any children? If so, how many and what age/s?
2. Would you be willing to send your child to a MU sponsored childcare program, if the school were to have one?
3. How many more hours per week of studying would you be able to do if childcare would not be a problem?
4. What percentage of Miami students do you believe have children?
under 5%, 5%- 25%, 25%-50%, over 50%.
5. How many faculty do you believe have children this age?
6. Do you believe that Miami University has a need for child- care?
7. Would you be interested in working with a child-care program for class credit? (education majors?)
8. Would you be interested in working with a child-care program as a volunteer? for an on-campus job?
9. Do you think child-care is important for a University to provide?
10. Do you feel that if Miami University offered child care, it would attract
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