Working Parents and Children | Effects – Problems

Posted on 13 October 2008

Millions of parents struggle each year to balance career and childcare. Fortunately, more options exist for working parents than ever before. If you want to find a solution that satisfies your family and your employer, read on.

Can great parents be great workers?

Rising to the Challenge
Many companies now recognize the value in supporting parental commitments. This is especially true since the Family and Medical Leave Act passed in 1993, prompting corporate America to offer working parents a certain amount of security. For smaller companies, a family-friendly environment means flexible hours, telecommuting options, and support for parents who need to attend to a sick child. Larger companies might provide onsite day care, extra days off for family time or maternity leave, and dependent child programs.

Parents can learn more about family-friendly companies online. One site, familyfriendly.com, features a searchable database of companies that provide specific programs for working parents. You can search by onsite childcare programs, for example, dependent care assistance, or special holiday and vacation plans. The site tells you which companies provide those benefits.
Some daycare centers offer an occasional peak into their daily activities via an interactive Web site.

Other Web resources can help parents research and select a quality daycare program. Babycenter.com has a complete daycare section, including a chart that evaluates different centers, stay-at-home options, nannies, preschools, and relative caregivers. This site also provides a list of questions to ask during child caregiver interviews.

Case in Point
Parents know that the childcare arrangement they choose will impact the well being of their child and their own success at work. Parents who constantly worry about the quality of their child’s environment–or who rely on an unprepared caregiver–suffer from stress that may derail their careers.

One parent who knows a good daycare choice when she sees it is Stacy Sass, publishing professional and mother of two young children. After careful research, Sass found a center that provided a good environment and great teacher-to-child ratio. However, if one of her children had a fever or runny nose, Sass or her husband had to stay home from work. They were always able to work through such difficulties, but the daycare center eventually grew and raised the number of kids per teacher. The family opted for in-home care and hired a nanny.

The individual care option worked out well, but Sass points out the difficulty in finding a good nanny. Even if a candidate interviews well and has impressive references, there is still a chance that the person will spend too much time watching TV or talking on the phone.

New Technology, Old Concerns
Some parents are now opting to invest in a home Webcam system to keep tabs on their children while at work. Some daycare centers even offer an occasional peak into their daily activities via an interactive Web site. Working parents take a short break and watch their preschooler play with friends–or even check in on the nanny at home.

Parents have to deal with a sick child every now and then, and some companies have geared up to help. Eddie Bauer, for example, provides time off for parents to spend with an ill child. Another company, Lincoln Financial Group, has been frequently praised by Working Mother magazine for providing such benefits as child-care subsidies and back-up childcare assistance.

All in all, this just makes good business sense. Supporting parents as they try to balance dual roles ultimately pays off. Employees are more likely to stay loyal to the company–and stay focused on the job.

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- who has written 318 posts on Higher Education and Career Blog.


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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Misty says:

    Great post–it’s nice to see more companies recognizing the benefits of helping their employees with their child care arrangements. I would like to clarify though that even small companies can provide child care for their employees. We have been running a child care center for 5 years now for a company that had only 50 employees when we started the program (with a capacity of 12 children). The center has been highly successful and is getting ready for its second increase in capacity. I am also aware of several other smaller employers that have been very pleased with their child care programs. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  2. al says:

    hello nice work..
    I’m on this econometric research you know..
    i want to study the children effect on the parent behavioral in working that eventually will effect the GDP of one country..you have any idea where should i start….anyone please help me!!!!

  3. umang says:

    children are like a mirror of their parents . a child lears what their parents teaches .but if parents does not have time for their children what will happen to them

  4. erin says:

    Can the Higher Education blog please look up the definition of peak/peek

  5. eden says:

    i need the answer about what the effect of having parents working abroad to their children

  6. Starting a Daycare Business says:

    It is hard for anyone to entrust their children to a stranger. Here is the list of options I give parents in order of desirability.

    1) DIY Care – There nothing like Mum or Dad to do care for children.
    2) Relatives – Popular in Asia – Granny of an Aunt are more likely to be trusted than a stranger
    3) Daycare – With careful monitoring. Live Video is great these days and also stop by for surprise visits if you can to see what your child is up to (close to the workplace is ideal).

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