Day Care Board Has New Chair,
The NIH day care oversight board was established in 1992 to ensure that day care programs and access to day care facilities are fairly administered, applicable standards are met by existing programs, and new programs are developed as necessary to serve the special needs of NIH employees. In addition, the board establishes policy for future day care centers and serves as a focal point for day care concerns at NIH.
Gladys Melendez-Bohler, senior grants management specialist, NINDS, has been elected chairperson of the board for a 2-year term. "Children represent an opportunity for everyone to succeed," she said. "They can be our greatest contribution to society. This opportunity is very often shared by day care providers. The board seeks to ensure that the quality of care provided by the NIH Day Care Centers to children of NIH employees is the best it can be."
The oversight board also serves as a forum for discussion of NIH day care issues; oversees a grievance appeal process for parents of children in the centers; and works with the Division of Space and Facility Management to ensure that the centers adhere to NIH policies and the terms of NIH day care contracts and use agreements. Administrative assistance for the board and facility management of the centers are provided by DSFM.
The board is seeking volunteers to serve on two ad hoc subcommittees: the policy subcommittee, which will work to develop board by-laws and a report to NIH director Dr. Harold Varmus; and the information resources subcommittee, which will help develop the NIH Day Care Fair, revision of the NIH Day Care brochure, and seminars.
The seminars will focus on family health issues such as day care, long term care, quality care, and research on day care.
Membership on the subcommittees is open to federal employees who work on the NIH campus or in NIH facilities, and provides an opportunity to serve fellow employees and their families. Those interested in serving may self-nominate for membership by sending a letter cosigned by their supervisor to Chris Steyer, NINDS Personnel Office, Bldg. 31A, Rm. 8A23, no later than Mar. 12. The letter should include the applicant's name, address, employing organization, and refer to the subcommittee of interest. The board encourages supervisors to support employees who wish to volunteer for these efforts by allowing employees the time necessary to attend meetings and complete subcommittee assignments.
Members of the NIH day care oversight board include (standing, from l) Mary Haas, director, POPI; Carol Wigglesworth, Dona McNeill, Chris Steyer, Lee Ettman, director, Childkind, Inc.; Shawn Googins, Anne Schmitz, director, ECDC; David Lankford, Dr. Michael Lamb, Dr. Ilan Kirsch, Dr. Alfred Del Grosso, Pamela Jenkins, Audrey Jones and Dr. David Monsees (outgoing board member). Seated are (from l) Dr. Suzanne Epstein (outgoing board member), Dr. Margaret Daube-Witherspoon, Gladys Melendez-Bohler, Veronica Crawford-Robinson and Dr. Roberta Shahin.
There are presently four NIH-sponsored day care centers. Childkind, Inc. -- Located in Bldg. T-46 on campus, this center accommodates 33 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 3 years. Parents of Preschoolers, Inc. (or POPI) -- Located in Bldg. 35 on campus, has 65 children between the ages of 21/2 and 5 years. Executive Child Development Center (or ECDC) -- Located at 6006 Executive Blvd., this center is licensed for 221 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 13 years, including before and after school care for school-age children and a summer camp. First Environment Early Learning Center -- cosponsored by NIEHS and EPA and located in Research Triangle Park, N.C. -- currently accommodates 88 children between the ages of birth and 5 years. A second center will open in Research Triangle Park this winter. All of the centers that are open are presently full and have waiting lists.
NIH employees and others who work in NIH buildings or on campus should feel free to contact board members with their questions or concerns about day care, or to share ideas about needs that are not presently being met in the NIH workplace, including elder care.
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