Life & Work Connections Offers Back-to-School Tips for Parents
New backpack? Check. New sneakers? Check. Folders and Sharpies in every color of the rainbow? Check and check.
Now that the easy part is done, some UA parents might be facing bigger back-to-school tasks that require a bit more effort, like learning about child care options, getting homework help for their kids, or lining up extracurricular activities.
Life & Work Connections is ready to help.
"Life & Work Connections begins preparation early in the year for back to school," said Caryn Jung, senior coordinator at LWC.
The services range from online resources to consultations, referrals and recommendations of customized solutions.
To highlight the child care and family resources available to the UA community, Life and Work Connections created a collection of back-to-school readiness tips and references. The list is available on the LWC website and consists of links to sites that provide advice regarding transitioning to a new school, homework help, stress management and more.
Life & Work Connections also works to make sure their referrals for child care programs focus on educational development and the individual interests of the children, Jung said.
"One year, they're interested in sports. Maybe they next year they join band. It does change for our families on an ongoing basis and we're there to help support them," she said.
These services can be especially useful for employees who are new to the area.
"What is very helpful is that we highlight the unique Southwestern features that our community has, such as Tucson's Rodeo Days, and how they impact child care calendars," she said, noting that most schools and child care facilities are closed during Rodeo break, but the University remains open. "If you've never been exposed to Rodeo Days, those are important facts that you would want to know."
One program that Jung says is important for University parents to be aware of during back-to-school time is the Sick Child and Emergency/Back-Up Care Program. This service provides temporary caregiver access for children up to 12 years old who become sick and whose parents are unable to make last-minute arrangements for their care. It is available to all UA benefits-eligible employees and enrolled students.
Additionally, Life & Work Connections helps employees plan and propose flexible work schedules. "It can be very common that following a request for a child care consultation, interest emerges regarding flexible work arrangement," Jung said.
To find out how to participate in such programs, she simply recommends visiting the Life & Work Connections website for more information or calling the office at 621-9870 to make an appointment.
It can be a lot of work to juggle work and life priorities, but Jung said she hopes the back-to-school readiness tips and other Life & Work Connections services help make the balancing act easier. The most important tip she has for parents is staying involved throughout the school year. Whether it's participating in school events or attending parent-teacher conferences, she said staying involved will encourage continual success.
"Children will certainly remember your presence and your time and volunteering." Jung said. "That makes such a big difference. That sends a very strong message about your commitment to education to your children, as well as a strong message to the school and to your children's educators of your desire to be an involved and engaged parent."