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Vision and Voice

Making Progress in Childcare

With the beginning of a new school year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the thousands of children in our extended UVA Health family and how we all play a role in supporting the well-being of the families in our community.

At UVA Health, we in leadership are always listening for new ideas or novel ways in which we can better support you and your families. We understand that you’re also parents, siblings, and guardians. It’s our goal to create the best work environment possible for our amazing team members, and that includes supporting your needs outside of work, too.

Across our organization, one of the most immediate needs we’re addressing is the improvement of childcare options for our team members with young children. The pandemic and national staffing crisis have put never-before-seen pressures on our local childcare centers as well as the children and parents who require these services. Local childcare centers are understaffed, in need of greater resources, and their waitlists grow longer every day. This situation is incredibly tough for families.

UVA Health leadership is tuned-in to this important issue and understands how essential childcare is to a child’s health and to our team members’ basic needs. Many leaders, being parents ourselves, know the stress that lack of childcare puts on parents, guardians, and their children. We want to help, and we’re working hard to remove access barriers and to alleviate stressors.

Last week, a handful of our leaders traveled to Malcolm Cole Child Care Center to discuss expanding their capacity to care for children in our community. Through our conversation and partnership, we authorized new construction and increased staffing that will soon create space for 12 more children at this facility. This exciting first step is a ray of hope, and we’re optimistic that more positive change is coming soon.

To complement these efforts, a University study is also underway to evaluate the addition of more childcare centers to the Charlottesville area. As we continue to work with the University and local childcare centers to increase childcare capacity, I encourage you to check out (and share!) these UVA Health resources to help meet caregiving support needs for your family or others.

We care deeply about supporting you and your children, and we’re advocating for new ways to make things better. I’m excited to see the progress we’re making and proud of our team’s commitment to standing with our team members and their kids’ during these difficult times. We’re so very thankful for you!

Take care and be well,