Resources for Parenting & Caregiving During COVID-19

two girls wearing colorful face masks

 

Support your child’s learning during extended school closures with these  resources: 

At Home Learning Resources

Parents and caregivers of adults are facing many unique challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you will find Cornell and community-based resources to assist you.   Additional information can be found on our Parenting During COVID-19 sheet.

 

Cornell Work/Life has created a Facebook page specifically for Cornell parents:  Cornellians Parenting During COVID-19: Family Support & Networking.  The page is designed for  Cornellians with caregiving concerns/needs and Cornellians interested in being hired to babysit, nanny, tutor, teach, etc.   It provides a forum for connecting and sharing info and resources related to family life during COVID-19 (particularly child care and schooling).

Parenting Resources

    Child Care & Tutoring

    Cornell Resources

    Babysitters, Nannies, Tutors, and Teachers Available for Hire

    These lists are made available by Cornell Work/Life in Human Resources to support Cornell employees and students with children.

    Cornell NetID required to access. Please do not share this directory with individuals outside of Cornell University.

    The individuals listed are interested in being hired as a babysitter, nanny, tutor, or other types of child care support during the summer and/or fall semester. Some families are seeking to team up with other families and hire one individual to babysit or nanny often referred to as a “nanny share” or “quaranteam.” You will be able to see whether the candidate is interested in being hired by more than one family.

    A number of questions have been asked of the candidates and their answers are provided in each profile. The directories are also provided in Excel format to enable sorting by specific criteria.

    Please contact individuals that you would like to learn more about and interview directly - the rate of pay is negotiated between the hiring family and the babysitter/nanny. No screening has taken place – please see the below disclaimer and take necessary steps to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of your family.   

    Disclaimer: Cornell does not screen, manage, or endorse individual babysitters, nannies, tutors, teachers, or hiring families. Cornell is not responsible for, and will be held harmless against, any liabilities, damages, expenses, causes of action, claims, or demands of any nature whatsoever, including any claims of negligence arising from or related in any manner to the use of this directory or any situation as a result of individuals for hire and hiring families working together.

    If you or someone you know is interested in being hired to tutor (remotely or in-person), have them complete this information form to be added to the Cornell Directory. 

    For those interested in providing in-home child care  (ages 18+), please encourage them to create a profile and apply to jobs at Care.com and/or fill out this information form (also for ages 14+).

    Find Babysitters, Nannies, & Other Caregivers with Care.com 

    Cornell provides free, unlimited Care.com membership to help benefits-eligible employees locate and arrange care. Members are expected to screen care providers, conduct background checks, and follow other safety best practices. Those who post job ads tend to have better success in finding a caregiver. Read this important guidance about child care during COVID-19 before arranging care.   Check out their Back-To-School Resource Guide to help make the transition into the new school year easier.

    Start your membership today! 

    1. First, visit the HR website for details about the service. 

    2. Then head to http://cornell.care.com/ to create an account with your Cornell ID number (not your NetID, the number found on your ID badge). 

    3. Post a position and/or search the directory for caregivers.

    Cornell Child Care Grant

    Cornell University’s Child Care Grant helps you pay for your child care expenses by granting awards of up to $5,000 a year, tax-free.  It has an annual application period each September for the following calendar year.

    Work/Life Consultation and Support:

    If you are looking for assistance with child care arrangements, contact Cornell’s Work/Life Consultant Diane Bradac . She is available to talk with you on topics related to dependent care, such as locating providers, nannies and babysitters, parenting children with special needs, and more. Diane can help you explore childcare options so that you are fully informed of what the landscape will look like for your family and your child/ren. Call 607-255-1917 or email: sdb39@cornell.edu.

    Cornell Child Care Center (CCCC):

    The Cornell University Child Care Center, managed by Bright Horizons Family Solutions, provides care to children ages 6 weeks to 5 years for Cornell faculty, staff and students.  Visit the website for additional information or arrange to take a tour at  https://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/ny/ithaca/cornell.   Please contact the CCCC to share information about your needs. 150 Pleasant Grove Rd, Ithaca, 607-255-1010,  Email: cornell@brighthorizons.com

    Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Changes:

    If you are enrolled in a DCFSA for 2020, and your child care needs have changed due to COVID-19 – either due to a change in provider or a change in projected expense – you may make a change in your DCFSA election, on a go-forward basis, within 60 days of that change in need. There is a special enrollment form needed, and if you cannot locate the form you received in the email to you dated April 28th, please contact the HR Services and Transition Center, hrservices@cornell.edu, 607-255-3936. 

    You may make a change in future contributions, again, once you return to your original child care needs/expenses. PLEASE BE AWARE: 2020 contributions to DCFSA may be used for expenses dated 1/1/2020-3/15/2021.

    Guide to Hiring Informal Child Care Providers (babysitters)

    Summer Camp & Care
    • Tompkins County Summer Camp Guide
    • Cornell CUBS Sports Camps
    • ​Summer Resources from Care.com
      • Hobby and Online Tutoring Classes for Children: Employees can search by child’s age, date, and category to find online and virtual classes for their children to take from home. Topics include Art, Dance, Sports, Language, and STEM to name a few. There is a cost associated with most of the online classes. The prices vary but are clearly outlined on the website. Any costs associated with taking the online hobby or tutoring classes would be paid for 100% by the employee.
      • Summer Care Resource Guide: The Summer Care Resource Guide is frequently updated and available on Care.com for all employees to access more information about caring for their children and households throughout the upcoming and unprecedented Summer.​

     

    Community Resources

    Child Development Council of Tompkins & Cortland County - Information about Family & Group Family Child Care Programs 

    The Council has child care referral specialists that can help you explore options. There are many smaller family programs that can provide care for up to 6 children and group family programs that can provide care up to 12 children. Your search criteria (location, size, age of child/ren, cost, etc) will be used in order to conduct a search. Request a consultation by calling 607-273-0259. 

    Not in Tompkins County? There is a network of organizations called Child Care Resource and Referral who can provide more specifics about your location/county. Contact the Child Development Council to locate a program where you live. 

    Child Care Idea: “Family Pods” & “Quaranteams” 

    A strategy some families are considering is entering into a “family pod” or “quaranteam” partnership with one or two other families, rotating who provides the care. Work/Life is collecting a list of families interested in this type of care. Please email Diane Bradac at sdb39@cornell.edu to express interest. We will notify you when a form is available for collecting additional details.   Check out the Ithaca Area Podschooling Exploration page for local resources.

    Hand in Hand Domestic Employers Network

    Hand in Hand offers resources for best practices when hiring a nanny, caregiver, or house attendant.  View sample contracts, checklists, and more.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    My children's school or child care is closed, can I bring my children on-site to be with me while I work?

    The presence and care of children at a university worksite creates significant safety and liability considerations for the university. While the care of infants and children at the worksite is not permitted (Visitors at the Worksite policy), supervisors are encouraged to be flexible in arranging work schedules, granting time off, and/or permitting remote work.

    Can child care centers refuse to serve children of quarantined or isolated employees?  

    Yes. Child care providers are required to follow New York State Licensing Guidelines, Health Department Guidelines, and may choose to impose additional regulations to support the health and safety of families and staff. 

     

    Remote Work & Parenting

    The Cornell Flexibility In the Workplace Policy states that remote work cannot be a substitute for ongoing child care needs. In light of COVID-19, remote work may occur while dependents are present if their school or child care is closed and alternative care is unavailable, under the following guidelines:

    • Cornell is not responsible or liable for the health and safety of your dependents while you are working remotely, or for your health and safety while you are delivering care to your dependents. It is up to the employee to determine whether work can be conducted safely. 
    • If a dependent is ill and requires ongoing attention, and you are not able to perform work if requested, employees may need to use Health and Personal (HAP) time away from work, as needed. HAP guidelines are being relaxed during this period to also accommodate well children who are home due to school and childcare closures. Nonacademic employees may also be covered by New York State Paid Family leave, which provides paid leave to care for a covered family member’s serious health condition of for the care of children with disabilities. Please visit https://hr.cornell.edu/new-york-state-paid-family-leave for more information.
    • Employees are expected to determine what they can reasonably accomplish while dependents are under their care (whether healthy or ill), and the amount of time they expect to be able to work.

     

    Strategies for Managing Time/Schedules 

    • Adjust your start/stop time (when you work) – use chunks of time that better align to your availability if possible 
    • Staff may use paid time off in small increments each day (possible for exempt employees as well) or half/full days as needed 
    • Staff may use New York State Paid Family Leave (NYSPFL) for care of children with disabilities, or to provide care to children with a serious health condition. NYSPFL can also be used to provide care to parents and spouses/domestic partners.
    • Reduce your hours temporarily (subsequent reduction in pay) 
    • Discuss your work goals and priorities with your supervisor – some work projects/tasks may be better aligned to your current situation than others 

     

    Articles & Resources

     

    Communications & Networking

    Cornell Work/Life has created a Facebook page specifically for Cornell parents:  Cornellians Parenting During COVID-19: Family Support & Networking.  The page is designed for  Cornellians with caregiving concerns/needs and Cornellians interested in being hired to babysit, nanny, tutor, teach, etc.   It provides a forum for connecting and sharing info and resources related to family life during COVID-19 (particularly child care and schooling).

    Cornell Resources

    Cornell Parent Newsletter:  

    The Parent Newsletter provides helpful tips, events, activities, and services of interest to Cornell faculty, staff, students, and retirees who are parents and/or grandparents. Click here to add your email to the newsletter distribution list. 

    Cornell Parent E-Lists: 

    Consider joining a Cornell Parent e-list to connect with other parents. There are several specific lists for parents with children under age six, parents with school-age children, and for selling/buying child-related items. 

    •  parents-k12-L – information related to parenting school-aged children (no classifieds permitted). To join, email: parents-k12-L-request@cornell.edu with “Join” in the subject 
    • parents-undersix-L – information related to parenting children under the age of six (no classifieds permitted). To join, email: parents-undersix-L-request@cornell.edu with “Join” in the subject 
    • parents-classifieds-L – buy, sell, or exchange child-related items (restrictions apply, see guidelines). To join, email: parents-classifieds-L-request@cornell.edu with “Join” in the subject 
    Additional Resources:

     

    Community Resources

     

    Safety

    Upcoming Events

    Cornell Community Chats for Parents

    Register

    Please join us for a series of informal discussions about the challenges Cornell families are navigating, sharing unique ideas and experiences, and learning about resources and approaches for family life and self-care.

    Attend one or many of the 45-60 minute sessions facilitated by Cornell Work/Life, Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, and Organizational Development and Effectiveness professionals.

    Discussion topics may include:

    • Maintaining positive relationships with children
    • Strategies for securing care arrangements
    • Transitioning and adapting to school re-opening in-person and/or virtually
    • Coping with uncertainty, self-care, and stress management
    • Fostering social connections
    • “Sandwich generation” challenges – parents with adult/elder care demands

    Zoom participation details will be provided to participants via email prior to the upcoming session.

    • Wednesday, August 12th at 1:30 pm
    • Tuesday, August 18th at 11:00 am
    • Tuesday, August 25th at 2:00 pm
    • Thursday, September 3rd at 9:00 am
    • Thursday, September 10th at 3:30 pm
    • Wednesday, September 16th at 2:00 pm

     

    Find additional local and campus events and activities in the Cornell Parenting Newsletter and the Cornellians Parenting During COVID-19: Family Support & Networking Facebook page.

    Caregiving for Adults

    Cornell Resources

    • Cornell Caregiver Support & Education Network Meetings  - Caregivers come together monthly to share the challenges, joys, and resources of caregiving.  Registration is required. Email worklife@cornell.edu and a Zoom link will be sent prior to the meeting. 
    • Cornell Work/Life Consultant – may advise you on work/life issues, especially related to caregiving. Phone, virtual, or email consultations available worklife@cornell.edu or 607-255-1917.
    • Staff may use New York State Paid Family Leave (NYSPFL) can be used to provide care to parents and spouses/domestic partners as well as children with serious health conditions or special needs.
    • Cornell provides free, unlimited Care.com membership to help benefits-eligible employees locate and arrange care. Members are expected to screen care providers, conduct background checks, and follow other safety best practices. Those who post job ads tend to have better success in finding a caregiver. 

    Start your membership today! 

    1. First, visit the HR website for details about the service. 

    2. Then head to http://cornell.care.com/ to create an account with your Cornell ID number (not your NetID, the number found on your ID badge). 

    3. Post a position and/or search the directory for caregivers.

    Community Resources


    Questions or Suggestions

    wellbeing@cornell.edu