MADs is the Mums and Dads’ network at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Its purpose is to support students and staff who are already caring for children, or who are expecting to do so in the future. MADs organises regular informal meetings, where we take the chance to discuss parenting issues with each other, as well as workshops, swap shops, and so on.
In the last year we have held sessions on HR issues for parents and carers (see links below), training on basic life support for children (what to do if a child chokes or stops breathing), and a seminar on handling behavioural issues. We have devised a questionnaire for those returning to work from parental leave to gauge their views on support at work, and set up a maternity and paternity mentoring scheme (see below). The MADs committee (currently Philippa Mills, Maria Bitner-Glindzicz and Jon Clayden) are happy to answer questions at any time. Below are some useful links to institute and UCL web pages which are relevant to current parents and parents-to-be.
Pregnancy and Leave
- Maternity Leave Calculator
- Parental Leave and Pay Policy
- Advice and Support for Pregnant Students
- Safety Guidelines for New and Expectant Mothers
- Frequently Asked Questions on maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave
Returning to Work and Beyond
- UCL’s Work–Life Balance Policy, which includes information on part-time and flexible working
- Carers’ Leave Policy, which applies when you need to take leave to look after an unwell child
- Parents and Carers Together (PACT), a UCL-wide social network
- ICH has a Rest/Expressing Room for Breastfeeding Mothers (the Cygnet Room), which is on the ground floor, along the corridor behind reception
- UCL Day Nursery
- Childcare Voucher Scheme
- UCL BiLingo offers a number of resources for parents of bilingual and multilingual children
- The Athena SWAN Charter, supporting the careers of women in Higher Education
Maternity and Paternity Mentoring
Having children is already dizzying enough, and it can involve a lot of effort to work out what options are available to you, when it comes to leaving and returning to work. Maybe you feel that you’d like advice on striking a work–life balance that suits you. To help make these transitions smoother and clearer, the MADs group runs a maternity and paternity mentoring scheme, which pairs experienced working parents with those currently navigating the period before and after having children. Mentors are there to provide a friendly face and the benefits of their experiences.
If you are interested in having a maternity or paternity mentor, please contact MADs committee member Jon Clayden in the first instance. He will initiate a pairing, generally with a mentor at a similar career stage to you, but working in a different programme. Once a pairing is established, the mentor and mentee will contact each other directly.
Any questions about the scheme may also be directed to Jon, or any other member of the committee.
ICH Core Hours
Core hours are 10am-4pm. This means that all regular meetings concerning research or governance, including committee, staff, research group meetings and departmental seminars should be held between 10am and 4pm. This should help those with caring responsibilities to attend. Meetings can be held outside these times if they are one-off or termly events but only if there is plenty of notice so that colleagues can make necessary arrangements. These meetings should have minutes if relevant so that those who cannot attend can remain informed.