Alachua County schools are closed this week, leaving graduate assistants to find babysitters or child care. But for the first time, Baby Gator and Graduate Assistants United are providing an affordable option, said Emily McCann, the co-president of Graduate Assistants United at UF.
Baby Gator will accommodate 25 children, aged kindergarten to sixth grade.
The cost is $35 a day per child, but Graduate Assistants United is covering $20 of that cost per child, McCann said.
“We are happy and delighted to collaborate with Baby Gator,” McCaan said.
Kelly Jamison, the assistant director of the Lake Alice Baby Gator, said the nursery thought it would be a nice opportunity to serve more UF families.
“We thought it would be a nice trial run and hopefully do it again in the future as well,” Jamison said.
Melody Schiaffino, the president of Ph.D. Moms at UF, said graduate assistants have a 50 percent rate of not completing their graduate assistant term due to the cost of caring for children while in school.
“To have this Thanksgiving week and hopefully in the future for other days off would be amazing and would not interrupt our progress and our duty,” Schiaffino said.
A version of this story ran on page 4 on 11/25/2013 under the headline "Babysitting option gives graduate students a Thanksgiving break"