Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Childcare Solution for the Working Mother: Businesses to the rescue

Over the past month, I've come across several acquaintances working multiple jobs. Some have started pursuing a passion, others have accepted part time jobs in their fields. Still others seem to be working odd jobs. It's not certain whether money is the motivator, but it is clear they are stretching their time and energy pretty thin.

Women seem to be following this line of work even more now, which is not surprising since it allows them to divide their time between work and family while earning extra spending money. The arrangement allows them to be flexible and marketable, while giving them the advantage of setting their own schedules. But if they are trying to build a personal business name, this is the long route to take.

Women with children have a hard time finding childcare that works around the demanding schedules of a full-time job. This becomes a greater challenge when the summer rolls around. Here in the Great Plains, summer camp schedules are
inconvenient. Working mothers have three general options: camps that open until the early afternoon, last only three hours a day, or sleepover camps. The very few that do open late into the evening are at capacity mere weeks after the registration process opens, leaving many women with no childcare.

It's a frustrating dilemma, one shared by mothers across the board. Those lucky enough to have family watch their children face other challenges, such as exposing kids to unstructured time or not having rules honored in their absence.

With all the work going into luring
women back to the labor force, you would expect more companies to offer onsite childcare. Of course there are some that do, but they are the minority. More businesses can open their doors for childcare but either costs or space is an obstacle. Maybe a solution would be to have companies share the costs of these resources by partnering with local childcare providers. This way, childcare programs would run longer hours, recruit more staff, but avoid footing the extra costs. It's something to think about.

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