The MIT Child Care Office has been renamed the MIT Family Resource Center, following a recommendation from the MIT Council on The Family and Work and approval by MIT President Charles M. Vest.
The name was changed to reflect more accurately the broad range of work/family programs now offered within the office and the diversity of the families they serve.
In the past five years, the Center has added a number of services to assist MIT families with work/family responsibilities. In particular a major new parent education program offers individual consultations and more than 50 parenting workshops, courses, and support groups each year. Topics include balancing work and family, setting limits, child development, fathering, single parenting, separation and divorce, adoption, gay and lesbian parenting, grandparenthood, multicultural issues, giftedness, self-esteem, special needs, and many others.
In the child-care area, introductory briefings are now held monthly, and individual consultations cover not only finding and evaluating child care but also selecting schools, special needs programs, summer camps, care for mildly ill children, MIT work/family policies and work options, and coping with ongoing child-care concerns and emergencies. Parent-child activities and training for family day care providers have been expanded in student family housing.
Also added to the Center has been a lending library of approximately 500 volumes and resource files on about 100 parenting and child-care topics.
Center staff frequently give consultations and seminars as well for individual MIT departments and offices, at Lincoln Laboratory, for local and national work/family organizations, and in the local community.
The Center's next series of parenting seminars and groups begins in late February, featuring new programs on positive discipline, gender development in boys and girls, handling economic stress, girls and science, caring for elders and children at the same time, alternative work schedules, special needs, African American parenting, and stepparenting. Most programs are free of charge, and many are open to the public.
For a full description, stop by or telephone the Center, Room 4-144, x3-1592. The Center is a component of the Office of Special Community Services (OSCS) within the MIT Personnel Department.
A version of this article appeared in the February 3, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 21).