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At McMaster, we understand that an individual’s personal and professional life cannot always be distinctly compartmentalized. It’s extremely difficult to balance work and family life and we strive to build a sense of community among co-workers by creating opportunities for employees’ families to come together in and outside of the office. Events like spirit days, holiday celebrations, sporting events and family outings help employees decompress.

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ATHLETICS AND RECREATION KIDS/ADULT PROGRAMS – McMaster Athletics and Recreation has a large variety of instructional classes that are available to McMaster faculty and staff as well as the community. Whether you are looking for a fitness class for yourself or swimming lessons for your child, there is ample opportunity to find something for everyone.

ATHLETICS AND RECREATION MARCH BREAK & SUMMER CAMPS – With phenomenal staff and state-of-the-art facilities, you can expect the very best from your McMaster Athletics & Recreation children’s camp experience. Many of the camps also include daily swims in the Olympic pool and a chance to experience the Altitude program’s Alpine Tower & Climbing Wall. Busing, extended care, lunch service and one-on-one support in select programs is offered.

ALUMNI FAMILY EVENTS – Alumni Advancement provides opportunities to share meaningful experiences with our children — events that will give you a chance to learn, share, and connect as families. These family events run three to four times a year and are usually held on the weekend. These events are often open to McMaster employees and their families.

CHILDREN’S PARTY – The Annual McMaster Children’s Party takes place on our central campus the last Saturday in November or the first Saturday in December. This celebration of children includes entertainment, food, rides, crafts and more. Tickets are open to children aged 12 and under.

ENGINEERING CAMPS AND PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH – McMaster Engineering provides many programs and activities geared to the interests and abilities of elementary and high school students. These programs introduce students to the engineering profession and allow them to advance their skills and knowledge in this area. They also provide students with a chance to make friends and have fun.

MINI UNIVERSITY SUMMER CAMP – At McMaster, we believe that all children inherently like to learn, and that the best way to learn is through exploration and adventure. This idea is fostered at Mini-University Camp through hands-on, self-directed activities spread across 3 unique modules and camp-wide excitement.

OUTDOOR RECREATION – The Outdoor Recreation program allows staff and faculty an opportunity to experience and explore the outdoors and develop leadership and outdoor skills. Leadership and team building programs are run through the ALTITUDE program, while the Feather Family Climbing Wall provides climbing and fitness opportunities.

SCHOOL OF THE ARTS – The School of the Arts offers a variety of live music performances to the public throughout the fall and winter academic terms. Join them at their Friday Evening and Tuesday Lunchtime Concert Series, featuring artists from around the community and the world! Or, make plans to attend a concert brought to you by McMaster’s talented student ensembles!

TAKE OUR KIDS TO WORK DAYTake Our Kids to Work Day is a national program which illustrates the importance of education, skills development and training while giving students the opportunity to experience the world of work and the variety of career opportunities that await them. Each year, McMaster hosts of 100 grade nine students on the first Wednesday in November.

VOLUNTEERING – McMaster University is committed to creating and linking McMaster employees to meaningful volunteer opportunities. This allows for personal and professional development, networking and collaborative work, while mobilizing and supporting  community-driven change.

BUSY FAMILY, CHILD & ELDERCARE RESOURCE LOCATOR – Employees and family members can search for daycares, homecare, respite care, child services and child care, schools, day camps, overnight camps and residential facilities for children with special needs. Homewood offers fully interactive services online through the bilingual BusyFamily Program.

CAREGIVER RESOURCES – Most of us lead busy lives juggling the demands of jobs, spouses, children, friends and homes. But more and more people are finding themselves caring for elderly parents or in-laws as well. The Change Foundation has compiled a list of key organizations supporting family caregivers and related networks provincially, nationally, and internationally that advocate for and provide support to family caregivers.

CAREGIVING SUPPORT – Balancing career responsibilities with family responsibilities is the reality for most of us, and generally we manage just fine. However, if you take on the extra demands of caring for an elderly or ill relative, or find you are carrying a particularly heavy load, having a professional point you in the right direction may be all that you need to relieve your stress and anxieties.

CHILDCARE AND PARENTING – Being a parent is one of the most important and complex experiences in life.  Do you question whether you are doing the right things? Do you occasionally feel overwhelmed? With helpful tools, support, and guidance, you can be the great parent you want to be.

DAYCARE – The McMaster Children’s Centre is a licensed non-profit child care centre offering high quality care and learning for children ages 18 months – 5 years. The facility is located on the McMaster University central campus and has been in operation since 1975.

EMPLOYEE LIFE CHANGES – A life change can affect your benefits, pension and other information at McMaster. For your convenience we have included information to assist you in this process. Learn more here.

GRIEF AND LOSS – Grieving can be an overwhelming and complex process. Every individual reacts differently and experiences grief and loss in unique ways. Homewood’s Grief and Loss Coaching Program helps you understand the grieving process by providing you with coaching support and resources to help you manage through the range of emotions and difficulties one experiences when faced with a significant loss.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE – Learn about the various job-protected leaves of absence along with more information about the nature, purpose, and eligibility requirement for such leaves. You may be entitled to more than one of these leaves for the same event. In some cases, you may also be eligible to receive Employment Insurance Benefits during a job-protected leave of absence.

NEW PARENT SUPPORT – Having a baby is one of the most special times in a person’s life. For both moms and dads, looking after that precious miracle of life is incredibly rewarding…and a little daunting. Most of us don’t receive any formal training when it comes to parenting a newborn, but with some education and support, you can be confident that you are doing all the right things.

RELATIONSHIP SOLUTIONS – Finding the time to care for, and nurture, our intimate relationships with others can be challenging. Relationship Solutions will help you take a proactive approach to enhancing your relationships. Coaching and a Relationship Solutions resource kit are included in this service.

PREGNANCY AND PARENTAL LEAVE – McMaster University offers a variety of options for employees as they welcome new additions to their families. For details on eligibility for leaves and benefits please see your applicable collective agreement or policy. Information about the Employment Standards Act provision for pregnancy and parental leave can be found here.

BURSARY/TUITION ASSISTANCE – As a community McMaster is dedicated to the pursuit of lifelong learning and skills development. The Tuition Assistance and Bursary Benefits are an expression of that dedication and emphasize the University’s commitment to the well-being of its employees and their families.

EMPLOYEE DISCOUNTS – McMaster’s employee discount program provides options and tools to employees (and their extended families – children, parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) and retirees to support their Financial Wellness. Our partnership is with Venngo, who offers a program called “WorkPerks”.

FINANCIAL COACHING –  Life Smart Coaching empowers you with the information and support you need to help you achieve financial peace of mind. By taking the right steps you can maintain a positive cash flow, get out of financial trouble, and be financially prepared should difficulties or a crisis arise. Working with a financial expert can help you gain control of your money.

FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH – November is National Financial Literacy Month (FLM). During the month of November each year, Human Resources Services supports an educational initiative focused on strengthening the financial literacy of faculty and staff which empowers them to manage money and debt wisely while saving for the future reduce their financial stress; and understand their financial rights and responsibilities.

FINANCIAL PLANNING – This free, full-day program will help participants take back control of their finances, empowering them to take action, and reduce their stress about money. No workshop can solve all financial concerns, but See Your Money Differently will give participants the information and resources needed to move forward with better financial habits and a new perspective on money.

LEGAL ADVISORY – Life Smart Coaching empowers you with the information and support you need to help you deal with your legal affairs. This program make it simple to get started and guide you step-by-step. The Legal Advisory service provides easy and convenient access to a network of experienced lawyers.

PRE-RETIREMENT PLANNING – Life Smart Coaching empowers you with the information and support to help you prepare so you can enjoy your retirement years. Homewood Health makes it simple to get started and guides you step-by-step. The Pre-Retirement Planning service can help you get mentally, emotionally, and financially prepared.

RETIREMENT PLANNING COURSE – Transitioning to retirement can be an exciting and anxious time. This full day retirement planning workshop is designed to guide participants through the process of preparing and transitioning into retirement with confidence. The program will help you build a much clearer personal vision of retirement, determine how much you will need to achieve that vision, and show you where the money will come from to fund your lifestyle.

RETIREMENT PLANS – McMaster University offers retirement income provisions for eligible employee groups. Plans are of two types – Defined Benefit Pension Plan and Group RRSP. More information about our retirement plans are available here.