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Feedback: Hereís a story idea: What was the reasoning behind the recent decision (just announced to the NIH parents listserv [Jan. 13]) to eliminate the NIH Childcare Resource and Referral Service? We are told that this decision was due to budget cutbacks, and Iím sure everyone at NIH understands that budget cutbacks are necessary. However, itís hard to believe that the cost of this program was so great that cutting it could help the NIH Worklife Centerís budget very much. The Childcare Resource and Referral Service has been an invaluable resource for NIH parents over the years; anyone with children knows that finding good childcare is a huge source of stress. I also find it disturbing that the decision to cut this program was made without any feedback from the community of NIH parents. The decision was not announced until the program had already been terminated. If NIH truly cares about being a family-friendly environment, the loss of this service is a huge setback.
Response from the Office of Research Services: The Child Care Referral Service will continue through fiscal year 2009. The service was previously managed by the Office of Human Resources, but will now be part of the ORS Division of Amenities and Transportation Services. Although we cannot guarantee additional funding will be available past FY 2009, we will make every effort to secure funding through the budget process to continue this activity in FY 2010 and beyond. We are very cognizant of the importance of the referral service to the many employees with children on the waiting list.