Article by Bridget Driscoll
Photos by Joel Ninmann
Dropping off your child for the first time can be intimidating, but the staff of Eagle’s Wing Child Care and Education Programs at University Apartments are hoping to make the transition a little easier.
Students with families are a large part of the University Apartments community, and, looking into the new Azhar Room, they can have peace of mind that their infants are in the best hands.
Focused on infant care, the new room is full of brightly colored toys and instruments perfect for developing a curious toddler that wants to explore the world.
As students balance school, work, and family life, and more graduate students request care for their very young children, it became clear that an infant room was the best way to accommodate the needs of residents. University Apartments saw the importance in offering families a childcare program focused around the youngest members of their community.
University Housing Director Jeff Novak knows what a good difference quality childcare can have on a family’s life. “It is so comforting to know that your children are in the very best of care, when you are at work. We are extremely thrilled to be able to provide the Azhar Room to better serve the needs of our families in the UW community, especially those living with us in University Apartments.”
The youngest Eagle’s Wing children will learn about friendliness and respect while also having a chance to explore and be curious. Teachers focus on play-based and peace education, and follow an anti-bias curriculum. The direct outdoor access will allow teachers to easily transport little ones for outdoor play.
Families at University Apartments come from around the world. Director Debb Schaubs ensures that Eagle’s Wing is a safe, respectful and comfortable place for everyone. “Teachers are very aware of supporting families and their cultures,” says Schaubs.
You can see this multicultural outlook and community atmosphere through the naming of the Azhar Room, which was suggested by residents. The Arabic word “azhar,” means “bud, blossom, or the very start of a flower.” Azhar draws upon the idea of giving infants a great start in the world at Eagle’s Wing.
Eagle’s Wing is just one of many ways University Housing works to provide residents a place to call home. The University Apartments community offers affordable, on-campus apartment living to UW-Madison graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and students with families.
Enrollment for the Azhar Room is currently full. Families interested in joining the waiting list should complete an application in the Bumble Bee system. For further information or questions, call the University Apartments Community Center at (608) 262-3407, or contact Jen Dittrich from OCCFR at 265-9123.