“Children shouldn’t have to bear the burden if their parents are considered essential during this stressful time,” Danielle Miles said.
With the closure of the University amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Doctoral Student Danielle Miles reached out to her colleagues offering free child care, “no questions asked.” Knowing that the work-from-home policy and the closure of many area child-care centers would affect both parents and children, she wanted to offer her services to lower the stress for her peers.
In an email addressing her fellow Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science faculty and staff, she explained, “For those of you who don't know me, I taught preschool (primarily Montessori pedagogy) for many years before moving here, and working with young children is truly my passion.”
For over 15 years, Miles has tutored and nannied children in homes and schools, and is certified in adult and pediatric first aid, CPR and automated external defibrillator use with the American Red Cross.
Having an extensive background in childcare, she explained that whenever there is a crisis or time of strain in her community, her first thoughts and concerns are always about the children who may be impacted. Although this is a stressful time for adults who may now be working from home or considered essential, children will also feel the stress of the upheaval of their daily lives and routines, and Miles aims to minimize that.
As a doctoral candidate in the Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology Program, her life has also been impacted by the recent changes, and she is now unable to continue her practical lab research on the effects that pinion and juniper removals have on non-game species. She’s moved her conservation biology class online and has had to transition her work and the work of her interns to an online setting. Noting the strain she’s experiencing in her own transition, she knew she wanted to help others in any way she could.
“I reached out since I know I’m healthy and can offer a safe environment for children if they need one,” Miles said.
Even if no one reaches out, Miles is happy knowing that her offer is out there for anyone who needs it now or in the future.
Closing out her email, Miles noted, “in short, I am very willing and able to help anyone in our community with free child care during these trying times – no justification or explanation needed. Stay safe and strong!”