Daycare for none means distractions for some
By CHANEL WILEY
One time, I witnessed something very strange and illegal in a classroom.
“Mama, Mama,” the child yelled for his mother while the teacher was lecturing. A student had brought their 3-year-old child to class, very much against the school rules. It was a big distraction to all of the students.
The child was in the classroom as an unfortunate result of not being able to find a last-minute babysitter. The child was also there because Harold Washington lacks an on-site daycare facility. The student could have easily used it if it was offered.
You may not have known this, but several of the City Colleges have childcare services. Daley, Kennedy-King, Malcolm X, Olive Harvey and Truman College offer childcare services from ages 2 to 5 depending on the campus.
Why doesn’t HWC have one? It is apparently because of costs and its downtown location.
Campuses are allowed to have daycares if they are considered “open land.” A campus is “open land” if it takes up the whole plot of land, making it safe for the kids and their parents to come in and out without a problem, according to now former Director of Auxiliary Services Theresa Cook.
Harold Washington was originally designed to have a daycare, but the plan was nixed about 30 years ago because of safety concerns, according to a professor in spoke with.
I understand that parents are unable to predict when their nannies or babysitters call off. Sometimes this happens. But we cannot allow these students to feel no other option than to bring their kid to a classroom of college students. It is a distraction to the class and against school policy.
Harold Washington College should offer more resources to people with kids. They should be helping to make the college experience easy. Having to worry about babysitters is worrisome and expensive.
Maybe HWC could offer childcare in one of the vacant rooms on the first floor, or in one of the schools “meditation and reflection” rooms. This should be on first-come, first-serve basis. Even if they just test it to see the outcome.
Maybe we could have City College students studying child development classes to help run a new daycare here?
One thing is for certain, from my experience, many students here have children and they could use the help of an on-site daycare.
The parents and kids will benefit from this, and especially the students in classrooms who will be distracted a little less often by the child snuck onto campus because there was no alternative for them.