During Finals Week, Free ASUU Child Care

The Associated Students of the University of Utah hope to care for 50 children a day during finals week.

The ASUU Child Care Center, located in the Emery Building on Presidents Circle, is offering free child care during finals week for parents and children who register in time. The sessions run from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Each session can hold 25 children, and students are welcome to register their children for as many sessions as have room.

Currently the sessions are about 70 percent full, according to Denine Therrien, the director of ASUU’s Child Care Center. Therrien said some morning sessions are completely full. Students should not plan to drop their children off without registering in advance, because there is a registration process all children must go through before they can be cared for.

“Students should call as soon as they can,” Mike Nelson, ASUU vice president said. “If they show up, there’s a good chance there won’t be any room.”

The Child and Family Development Center has traditionally provided free finals week child care, but is not offering it this year because ASUU leadership wished to provide this service.

“It was an idea when the center came up that was one option we could provide,” Nelson said. “We saw it as a great service we could provide to students during this crazy week.”

One of ASUU’s motivations in providing this service is to provide publicity for the new center.

The center opened in October, and is currently running at only 30 percent capacity because it opened in mid-semester, when many parents already had their children enrolled in a program. The center, which offers subsidized child care through a sliding fee scale, is still taking applications for Spring Semester. Rates run from $3 to $5.50 an hour, depending on the student’s income.

“We thought [finals-week child care] would be wonderful for the staff,” said Therrien. “It gives an opportunity for the parents to see us. Some of it’s for [public relations] to get our name out.”

The free child care offered next week will follow the Child and Family Development Center’s previous schedule. Students can register their children for both daily sessions, but they must pick up their children between noon and 1 p.m. Faculty and staff can also use this service for $5 per session.

“We hope a lot of students will utilize it,” Nelson said. “This is hopefully one of the ongoing services ASUU will offer students through this center.”

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