Important COVID-19 message regarding caregiver resources from Vice President for Human Resources
Dear Purdue faculty and staff,
The New Year brings with it a new beginning, and as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, things continue to change. COVID-19 continues to create challenges for many Purdue faculty and staff, which is why the University is working to provide benefits, resources and tools to assist the Purdue community as needs evolve. As outlined by the Work-Life-Integration pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program, work-life integration offers family-friendly benefits and programs targeted to these changing needs.
While we are all experiencing uncertainty and competing demands for time, those in our community with family commitments and caregiving responsibilities are likely feeling acute challenges. Whether caring for children who are now eLearning from home, parents who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 or others in extended families or communities, caregivers especially are working in difficult conditions while trying to meet their personal and professional responsibilities. In response, the University is providing the following resources and information for faculty and staff who are facing caregiving challenges:
- Childcare – The Finding Off-Campus Care web page provides helpful information for finding a childcare provider. Also, The Child Care Resource Network offers a variety of resources, including help finding childcare. Individuals can fill out a form online and then The Child Care Resource Network will contact the individual/family to help find childcare in the community. KinderCare facilities, with the exception of the facility on Purdue’s campus, offer Purdue employees a 10 percent discount. (KinderCare facilities on campus are already receiving rates customized to Purdue employees.) Individuals can search for a KinderCare facility near them by searching via Zip code on the KinderCare website. Drop-in care is available at any KinderCare nationwide and for full-time, part-time, temporary care or even one-day care. Parents schedule care by contacting the center or program directly. Drop-in care is on a space available basis by center.
- Elder care – Finding appropriate care for elders can be a difficult task. The information provided on the Finding Elder Care web page is available to help.
- Remote work – Remote work continues to be an option for faculty/staff (wherever possible). For more information, see the Working Remotely web page, which includes FAQs, and the Flexible Work Guidelines web page. Additional remote work guidance and best practices can be found here.
- Flexible schedules – Employees should speak with their supervisors/Department Heads directly to create flexible work schedules and keep their supervisors/Department Heads informed should their caregiving responsibilities change. Supervisors/Department Heads are asked to be as flexible with employee schedules as possible to meet both department and employee needs.
- Leaves – Emergency Leave and Emergency FMLA Leave have been added to help cover COVID-related leaves. While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA) federal program has expired, Purdue is extending this benefit through March 31, 2021, for employees. The same level of flexibility that has been allowed throughout the pandemic remains for employees to use their available paid-leave balances; once that time is exhausted, employees can utilize any FFCRA balances that remain. Review information on how to remain in pay status here. More information is available on the Pay, Time Off and Leave web page.
- Human Resources COVID-19 resources – Via the HR Working through COVID-19 website, a variety of resources are available, including mental health resources and more.
- Tutoring resources – Finding tutoring resources has been noted as an area of concern by Purdue employees. To help, Purdue is sharing the following online resources, which may be useful:
- Khan Academy: Offers courses / assistance in math, grammar, science, history, SAT®, AP® and more.
- Parents Challenge: Provides parents information regarding what education options are available and how to pursue them.
- AskRose Homework Help: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s AskRose Homework Help is a free math and science tutoring service for students in grades K-12.
- SmartTutor Education Programs: Provides free educational resources and more for parents and students.
- Sylvan Learning: Offers personalized tutoring, academic coaching, advancement and test prep and more.
Information specific to faculty and instructors
- Teaching Support: The Innovative Learning Team provides a variety of support for instructors, including the just launched Technology Advocates program – undergraduate students who are freely available to provide technical support for your courses. Visit https://www.purdue.edu/innovativelearning/ for more information.
- Butler Center Programming: The Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence directed by Dr. Mangala Subramaniam offers a variety of programs and support for faculty on career management and navigating challenges. Visit https://www.purdue.edu/butler/ for details.
- Automatic Tenure Clock Extensions: Any faculty member that joins Purdue in academic year 2020-21 is eligible for an automatic tenure clock extension. (This extension was also previously offered to all pre-tenure faculty who were employed during the 2019-20 AY.) While the tenure clock extension does not require any formal approval, faculty should feel free to discuss the extension with their department head and/or mentor(s). Please contact Peter Hollenbeck at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this process.
Coming soon — Care.com
As an added resource for Purdue employees, Care.com will launch later this month. Via a customized portal and free membership for Purdue employees, employees will be able to search and find affordable caregivers – including childcare, senior care and pet care – along with other service such as tutoring, housekeeping services and more. A detailed email will be sent to employees once it’s available to utilize.
Review the Purdue Today article – No more school: Realistic ways for parents and families to cope, find balance while together at home – and the Healthy Boiler Newsletter article – Going remote: Integrating work, life during COVID-19 – for additional tips.
Questions can be directed to Human Resources at 765-494-2222, toll-free at 877-725-0222 or via email at email@example.com.
Each of us is experiencing our own challenges as a result of the pandemic, and there are no easy solutions. My hope is that the resources and information shared here will help in some way as we continue to navigate our current environment. Please continue to care for your colleagues, yourselves and your families. And thank you, again, for all you are doing.
Vice President for Human Resources