Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Volunteers babysit for students


The struggles of parenthood and full-time classwork are made easier thanks to Sitters for Service, a program that uses undergraduate students to provide free babysitting services to student parents.

Undergraduate students volunteer their time to babysit in exchange for community service hours. Students interested in serving as a student sitter go through an application and interview process and, if selected, are trained in infant and child CPR.

Cori Perdue, graduate school programs director, said she realized student parents had a hard time balancing school and having kids.

“We have about 2,000 students on campus that have kids, and their number one concern was childcare,” Perdue said.

Leah Tucker, a junior majoring in communicative disorders and Spanish, said Sitters for Service has become one of her favorite organizations.

“The families are extremely hardworking and gracious for the help,” Tucker said. “Being in school is time-consuming, and I can’t even imagine doing it with kids. I am so glad to be a part of an organization that gives back to these members of the Tide.”

Student parents interested in receiving free babysitting are required to fill out an application at the beginning of each semester. Student parents are randomly selected for the program depending on the number of student sitters available.

Each student sitter agrees to provide 20, 30 or 40 hours of free babysitting over the course of one semester, while each student parent in the program receives up to 30 hours of free babysitting for that semester. The Sitters for Service program renews each semester, with a new application process for both interested student sitters and student parents.

Stephanie Charles, a senior student sitter majoring in history and anthropology, said The University of Alabama has given her so much as a student and she wanted to give back.

“Sitters for Service has given me the unique opportunity to give back to the UA community, which has given me so much, by serving UA’s student and faculty parents,” Charles said. “Watching the program grow from what it was my freshman year to what it is now has been especially rewarding. I feel as though I’ve been a part of fostering something that will continue to fill a need within the school long after I graduate and move on from here.”

The Undergraduate Parent Support and Graduate Parent Support programs at the University provide an academic, social and emotional support system for student parents. UPS and GPS help to create new programs and provide assistance for participants. They also work to implement family-friendly campus events to help student parents access campus and community resources, develop support networks and have a presence on campus.

The deadline to apply to be a student sitter or for sitting services is Thursday by 11:59 p.m. Interviews will be conducted Jan. 21-24. Students will be expected to provide their availability for the semester, indicate the number of hours they will commit to serve (20, 30 or 40), select desired CPR training times if needed and take a picture if one is not already on file at the time of their interview.

To view applications for student sitters and parents, visit

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