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Child Care Resources and Support

A number of resources are available for College of Medicine faculty and staff looking for child care in the Hershey, Pa., area.

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Child Care Provider Information from Health Advocate Expand answer

Health Advocate will search for local child care providers, providing availability and rates.

To use: Call 866-799-2728.

Drop-in Child Care at Bright Horizons Expand answer

Bright Horizons has an on-site location at the Hershey Medical Center campus.

First Discoveries on the Hershey Medical Center campus is open 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Drop-in care is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To use: For more information or to check availability, call 717-531-5484.

Share Ideas with Colleagues on Yammer Expand answer

College of Medicine personnel can use Yammer to share ideas and resources with fellow colleagues.

Those using Yammer can access the all-company group and/or join or create private groups.

To use: To get started, access and bookmark Yammer here. Users should sign in with their email address.

U-GRO Hummelstown Expand answer

U-GRO Hummelstown offers Penn State employees a 5% discount on semi-permanent to permanent child care.

Available spaces as of July 29, 2020, included:

  • Infants (6 weeks to 12 months old) – five spaces
  • Young toddlers (1-year-olds) – three spaces
  • Older toddlers (2-year-olds) – eight spaces
  • Preschool, pre-K, K-readiness (3 and older): Currently enrolling any child 3 or older as these classrooms are larger and can offer more space

To use: Call U-Gro at 717-566-9200.

University Telecommuting and Time Off Options Expand answer

Penn State expects that supervisors will work with their staff as needed to accommodate telecommuting opportunities for staff members whose responsibilities can be accomplished outside of the College of Medicine. Employees should talk to their supervisor and COM HR to discuss their child care needs and options.

Managers: COM HR recommends partnering with the appropriate departmental Human Resources consultant to discuss plans before modifying an employee’s schedule.

Vacation/service time can be used as well. Managers should apply existing vacation/service time policies.

Unpaid personal leave of absence can be taken for up to maximums outlined in University Policy HR16, with manager approval. Intermittent leave is not permitted, meaning employees must use this time in one continuous block. Review Policy HR16 for details.

Employee Special Assistance Fund is available and subject to approval. Click here for more information. (Penn State Health log-on credentials) Employees should work with their managers on flexible schedules, remote work, leave and vacation/service time use. These are subject to manager approval based on operational needs. See details in MySolutions (Penn State Health ePass login required).

At a Glance

Employees should work through the child care resources in this order:

Step 1: Child Care Resources

  • Start by exploring available schedule and work arrangements with manager
  • Contact Health Advocate at 866-799-2728
  • Contact local child care providers
  • Use Bright Horizons drop-in care on Hershey Medical Center campus
  • Network with colleagues on Yammer for other ideas
  • Use U-GRO Hummelstown, which offers a 5% discount

Step 2: Modified Scheduling

  • Schedule a meeting with manager
  • Explore flex scheduling
  • Explore reduction in hours

Step 3: PTO/Vacation

  • Use vacation/service time, applying existing vacation/service time policies
  • Be sure to explore modified/flex scheduling before using vacation

Step 4: Personal Leave of Absence

  • Review Policy HR16 regarding unpaid personal leave of absence
  • Submit application for assistance from the Employee Special Assistance Fund