The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
Sports Writer

Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

WeeCare partners with NMU to provide childcare for students and faculty

Photo+courtesy+of+Saphira+Howell%0A%0AWEECARE+WONDERLAND%E2%80%94WeeCare%2C+a+childcare+company%2C+is+partnering+with+NMU+to+help+achieve+the+goal+of+providing+affordable+and+convenient+childcare+to+students+and+faculty.+WeeCare+helps+families+in+need+of+childcare+by+placing+their+children+in+facilities+that+already+exist.+If+there+is+a+shortage%2C+WeeCare+itself+will+work+with+members+of+the+community+to+help+them+start+their+own+daycares+and+childcare+facilities+in+order+to+open+up+availability+in+childcare.
Photo courtesy of Saphira Howell WEECARE WONDERLAND—WeeCare, a childcare company, is partnering with NMU to help achieve the goal of providing affordable and convenient childcare to students and faculty. WeeCare helps families in need of childcare by placing their children in facilities that already exist. If there is a shortage, WeeCare itself will work with members of the community to help them start their own daycares and childcare facilities in order to open up availability in childcare.

NMU released information two weeks ago on their new collaboration with childcare company WeeCare in hopes to start providing affordable and convenient childcare to students and faculty. WeeCare will provide members of the NMU community with services that help them find childcare with facilities already in place within the area. 

“We wanted to reach out to universities because we knew they were inviting young faculty and students back onto campus. We wanted to make sure that we could actually provide childcare benefits to support the universities as much as possible,” Jessica Chang, CEO of WeeCare, said. “We were not expecting there to be so little daycares within the northern Michigan area.”

According to WeeCare’s homepage, they strive to make affordable daycares accessible to all families. They intend to offer a “build your own care” style of service. WeeCare helps families in need of childcare by placing their children in facilities that already exist. If there is a shortage, WeeCare itself will work with members of the community to help them start their own daycares and childcare facilities in order to open up availability in childcare.

“We understand that there may just not be any availability. If that’s the case, we wanna make sure we’re setting expectations with these families correctly … and saying like, ‘Hey! There’s no availability but give us some time. We’re going to create these daycares,’” Chang said.

Story continues below advertisement

The process of creating these new daycares can take up to a couple of months, but that time is spent ensuring that the staff is certified and the facilities themselves are safe. NMU will be covering the fee of WeeCare’s matching and enrollment services. However, there are still costs in terms of care.  

“Our average tuition for full-time child care ranges between $600 and $850 per month, which is generally 40% cheaper than what it would normally cost,” Chang said.

The specific services that WeeCare will be provided through the various facilities in the area are pandemic learning pods and access to a childcare manager that will help students and faculty find full-time, part-time, drop-in and overnight care options for infants, toddlers and school-aged children. In addition, after parents/guardians have registered they will receive 24/7 support for finding the right option for them. 

“They are assessing the need through these registrations … in the hope that once they figure out that, ‘Okay, we have so much unmet need in Marquette, we know that we need to add 10 or 12 providers,’ then they go through the process of supporting those providers through the licensing process through the state,” Rhea Dever, assistant vice president of human resources said.

According to Dever, WeeCare is one of the only companies that does this kind of work which is why NMU found their offer so appealing. 

“Rural areas are the ones that are sort of hardest hit by this issue of needing additional daycare options. We are really spread out. We have students and employees coming from all over the central U.P. area,” Dever said. “I think the fact that they have this really cool concierge service in terms of matching and enrollment for parents … that’s pretty amazing.”

To sign up for WeeCare, register here for employees and here for students. If WeeCare finds that not enough people register, their services may not stick around. Considering this, Dever encourages those who are happy with their current childcare to register still, so that they can have support in emergencies. 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ayanna Allen, Assistant News Editor
I have been with The North Wind since February 2021. When I applied to NMU, journalism hadn't ever crossed my mind. After stumbling upon a job posting for a staff writer, I took a leap into the unknown - and never looked back. Now, I'm proudly the Assistant News Editor. When I'm not writing articles or reading for my classes, I'm playing cozy games, rewatching American Dad for the billionth time, working on my high fantasy novel, or cooking up a mean meal for my friends.