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Division of Human Resources

Balancing Childcare and Work

Childcare responsibilities create additional challenges for our employees with school age or pre-school  children. The following information is provided to assist employees who need to balance childcare and work.  

Coordinate with your Supervisor

The first step to finding solutions to scheduling issues is to coordinate with your supervisor. Discuss your situation with them. Your supervisor may be able to provide you with additional flexibility in your work hours or location. Please be aware that your supervisor must also take into consideration the needs of the university and the requirements of your job. They may not be able to approve every request.  


Review your Options

In order to accommodate your childcare responsibilities you may want to consider the following options and review them with your supervisor who will need to approve any changes to your work schedule or requests for leave.

  • Modify your work schedule, either by adjusting your hours or working for some or all of your time from home.
  • Use available leave; with supervisor approval employees may use accrued time off for related absences (compensatory time, annual leave, or sick leave, as applicable) to cover time during which they are unable to work.
  • Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family and Medical Leave which provide leave for employees who are unable to work, including work-from-home, as a result of having to care for a minor child due to a COVID- 19 related closure of a school or childcare center.
  • If other options have been exhausted you may need to consider going on leave without pay.


Learn More about Emergency Leave and Parenting During a Pandemic

  • This webinar provides information on leave options available to parents through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and other university leave programs. To view the narrated presentation open the document in powerpoint and select F5 on your keyboard or use the slideshow icon on the lower task bar (far right).

  • Dr. Ryan Carlson, Associate Professor in the College of Education, presents Pandemic Parenting: Coping Strategies for Working Parents. Dr. Carlson provides tips and resources on how to navigate hybrid learning and improving work-life balance in the current climate. The passcode to access the webinar is: YL.K#1Q$


Additional Resources for Parents and Caregivers

  • Bright Horizons operates a daycare center on the Columbia campus. Their website offers information about the Center and the safety protocols they are using to protect children and their families.
  • The Caring for Each Other initiative from the Sesame Workshop offers games, activities, videos, information to help children and parents understand the latest additional issues surrounding Coronavirus,.
  • CDC Parenting essentials - Expert advice on common parenting challenges.
  • Child Care Handbook [pdf] breaks down the different types of childcare and reviews the pros and cons of each. 
  • Child Care Resource and Referral provides information to families such as child care locator, childcare voucher and tax credit information, child development information, home activities, household budget & planning calculator, and other resources. 
  • The Employee Assistance Program offers a host of resources for parents and caregivers.
  • Family Connection, South Carolina provides parent-to-parent support to families of children with disabilities or special healthcare needs. 
  • First Steps, South Carolina works to support the success of all kids from birth through age five by serving families, their communities and early childhood education providers.
  • Kahn Academy provides learning resources for students, teachers and parents.
  • Palmetto Pre-K- One-stop shop for finding free or subsidized educational pre-k programs in South Carolina.
  • The Resource Guide for Kinship Families and Grandfamilies provides resources of particular value to families in which children are raised by their grandparents, other extended family members, or adults with whom they have a close family-like relationship.
  • SC Child Care provides information about local child care providers and the SC Voucher Program.
  • Talking to Children About Coronavirus - Tips from Bright Horizons for helping children understand the virus and how it impacts their lives.
  • The YMCA provides emergency childcare assistance for first responders.

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