Many of the faculty and staff, and a number of students on campus, are parents in addition to the myriad of other ways they define themselves. The Childcare and Family Resources office at Oregon State University works to provide information and support to those parents, and as part of their work, they are offering a series of lunchtime workshops designed for parents.
“We were recognizing that a lot of parents don’t have a place to get together and interact,” said Kristi King, who runs the drop-off childcare center for student parents in the Valley Library.
The workshops last an hour and take place on the second Wednesday of each month, most of them held in Memorial Union 109A. The topics range from healthy cooking for kids to childcare options to pregnancy and birthing options for expectant parents. Experts are brought in to cover each topic.
“We want it to be a worthwhile time that offers some good information to parents,” King said.
The series kicked off in October with a session on maternity leave. While most sessions are open to students and staff, the first session was just for OSU employees. A number of representatives from the Office of Human Resources provided a variety of helpful hints and resources for expectant mothers or those simply looking to have children in the future.
The maternity leave discussion included information on FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), how to make leave requests, and how mothers can use sick, vacation and personal time off during their leave. They also explained how signing up for short-term disability could help supplement income during maternity leave. Staff and faculty members had a lot of questions for the employees, who helped them prepare to navigate the labyrinth of leave options.
The next workshop takes place from noon to 1 p.m., Nov. 11, in MU 109A. The topic is breastfeeding and working/studying. Guest speakers include members from La Leche League.
For more information on parenting resources on campus, see http://oregonstate.edu/childcare/ Click on events to see times and locations for the workshops.