Participation in College life can be difficult for those people with spouses, partners or children. The University employ a childcare adviser to provide advice and information relating to children, and the MCR Committee have been working at a College level to improve the facilities which are available. Listed below are some points raised with the Master and Tutors' Committee, with responses.
- Provide information regarding services available at the College, University and Town level to newly admitted Graduates before their arrival in Cambridge.
- Set up a separate fund to assist these Graduates financially with expenses such as housing
or day care, without jeopardising funds (i.e. hardship funds) already in place. It would be preferable
if students could apply to this fund prior to their arrival.
There will not be a separate fund, but families will be encouraged to apply to hardship funds along the same lines as other students. This is because of the financial guarantee that implies we all have the money we need before we are even allowed to come to Cambridge. However, families/couples living in private accommodation will receive a rent subsidy on an almost-automatic basis.
- In an effort to make partners/spouses of Graduates feel a part of College life, College
could provide English as a second language classes and officially invite the partners /spouses
to become members of College. Through this gesture, partners/spouses would receive core keys
and EPOS cards allowing them to use dining facilities freely.
All agreed that this was highly important. Spouses/partners will receive core keys and EPOS cards charged to their partner's account and will be invited to become members of the MCR. It was also agreed to give money towards English classes, and we suggested that other College students were paid by College to give conversation classes.
- Supply a couple high chairs for use in Hall. We realise these will not be available
for Formal Hall unless specified during MCR dinners. Make microwave facilities available to
heat baby food on these occasions. Baby food will be supplied by parents and not by college.
While the Master and Tutors agreed to this, it will still have to pass through the Catering Committee. It was also agreed that children should be allowed to attend hall for all informal meals and MCR-dinners, but not for ordinary formal hall or black-tie dinners.
- Designate a College room and funds for creche services during MCR and College functions
(to be worked out between MCR and JCR). This room must be supplied with general items such as
toys, books, means for watching videos etc.
There are legal complications in having a creche on college grounds. For similiar reasons, unfortunately, a formal babysitting scheme cannot be set up.
Purchase property suitable for housing graduate families with children, preferably
housing several families in close proximity. It is hoped that this gesture would provide
a support mechanism for families whereby sitting services, information and general support
would become automatic. Laundry facilities, a garden and parking availability are strongly
suggested for any accommodation designated for graduates with children.
Yes to all including trying to organise shared married accommodation with other colleges and looking to buy two-bedroom flats in the future.
CUSU Childcare Website
Further information is available on the CUSU website.