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

Sitter service provides child care to student parents

Many graduate student parents take advantage of the program to help continue their graduate studies while 
raising a child.

Sitters for Service hires sitters on a volunteer basis and students who are interested in participating can fill out an online application. If chosen to participate, sitters must take a CPR course followed by a 
parent orientation.

Cori Perdue, director of graduate school programs, said the program has proved to be successful.

“The spring program last year included 36 undergraduate sitters who consistently earned five-star ratings from the student parents for their sitting appointments,” she said.

In addition to volunteer sitter applications, Sitters for Service also reviews applications for parents to be a part of the program. Parents can then attend an orientation in order to meet and choose a babysitter who is best fitted for their children. The next parent 
orientation will occur Jan. 18.

Jennifer Humber, president of Sitters for Service, is not only a parent of two children but a graduate student herself. She said Sitters for Service is an extremely valuable resource for her.

“Being a full time student and a parent is almost a game, having to juggle life,” she said. “Sitters for Service has been an amazing program that students sacrifice their time for.”

Interested parents are allowed 30 hours of child care each semester. Community service is rewarded to the flexible volunteer babysitters through the University’s volunteer 
website, Service Learning Pro.

“I could not take care of my kids and go to school without Sitters for Service,” Humber said. “It is a blessing to me and my husband that we can both 
sometimes have a break. He works so much and needs time to go to the gym and I need my time to go to class.”

Sitters for Service allows Humber’s family to balance work, school, kids and down time of their own.

“I always call [my sitter] if I need someone to watch the kids,” she said. “Since the sitters are students as well, we always understand if they’re busy – Sitters for Service is flexible. With the kids that the program has, I could easy call up any of them because they’re great kids.”

Weiwei Zhang, a graduate student who uses Sitters for Service, said the program is an asset to her life.

“As a graduate student parent, I have to balance the time between studying and taking care of my child,” she said. “I have benefited a lot from this service since we have been in the program. My family utilized this resource a lot.”

Sitters for Service has additional information on the Source websit, Get on Board Day in the fall and the Graduate Parent Support website. The application for students and also 
parents is found on the GPS website.

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