Supplemental Childcare Program Essay, Research Paper
Families’ reliance on childcare has risen significantly over the past 30 years. In 1993, 9.9 million children under age 5, needed care while their mothers worked (Bureau of the Census, 1995). More than two-thirds of all infants receive nonparental child care during their first year of life, with most enrolled for about 30 hours each week (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 1995).
There are many different programs in the United States that provide extended day childcare for working parents. Programs such as the 6 to 6, YMCA, etc are available in the morning before school and in the evening after school. Although these programs provide parents the much-needed care of their children, most programs are ill equipped to provide care for children that become ill and/or are chronically ill. In addition, most employees of such programs have received the minimal training, such as CPR, and safety awareness classes.
Childcare centers, as well as many schools do not allow children to remain at the facility when they fall ill. Parents are required take off from work, and pick up their ?contagious? bundle of joy. What about the care of the chronically ill children, such as those with asthma or other recurring ailments?
There are so many strict guidelines for management of illness that parents, especially single parents, have no other recourse, but to remain at home with their sick child, for days on end. As a result, the very reason behind parents working, can possible affect whether they remain gainfully employed.
The purpose of the proposal is to address and provide additional childcare services to the parents whose children are chronically ill. Parents would be allowed to remain at work, while their child is being taken care of. This program would even pick their children up from school, or parents would simply bring their sick child to the facility in the morning, and then move on to work.
The goal of this supplemental childcare would be to cut down on employee absenteeism, job stress, and health education for parents, prevention, and quality care for children.
Needs of the Agency
. The daycare and child development business is booming and profits are soaring. With more people looking at the child care field from different angles, these type of programs have more opportunities for more allies and partners, for funding and positive public relations, for improving, and ?professionalizing? the programs that we offer to our children in our communities. Non-profit groups and higher education have increasingly partnered with schools, often including after-school hours.
There have already been so many agencies, such as Harmonium Inc., that have stepped up to the plate to support child care programs such as the 6 to 6, that gaining support from other agencies, as well as big business, would not be a great challenge.
Many businesses pride themselves on productivity. They promise to deliver a high quality product with expediency and efficiency. But how will all this be accomplished, if many employees are out, taking care of their sick children? How will the product be delivered? Is the incentive of higher productivity and greater profits enough, for big business to back this idea? Would the employees utilize this extended childcare?
Two questionnaires were developed to answer a few of these questions. The first questionnaire was presented to several different company heads to see what they thought about supporting a program to care for children; the other was directed towards parents. It basically asked what parents thought of childcare for their sick children. (Questionnaires are included at the end of this proposal.)
Of course every childcare program has its goals and the basic outline of the program is to supplement care that is already in place. Some modifications to the current child care site, and staffing may be necessary to facilitate care for ailing children; an infirmary may need to be constructed, additional staffing, such as nurses, training beyond first aid, and a quarantine area.
This program is simply designed to provide space for children, who become ill at school and need to be picked up, or who have been ill at home, and parents are unable to remain home with their children.
Naturally, there are some ailments that cannot be taken into consideration, such as highly contagious diseases that can be life threatening. The basic cold, fever, cough, etc. can easily be managed for a portion of the day, as it would if the child were at home.
Design and Implementation
When a parent enrolls their child into a child development or child care facility, there will be an additional applications that the parent has an option to fill out, that will make them eligible for the supplemental childcare and any incurring fees. If they chose to fill the applications out at a later time, they do with the understanding that spaces are limited, and they may be added to a waiting list.
Because of different arrangement with sponsoring agencies, at certain locations children who parents are employed by the sponsoring agencies are given preference when openings are available. However, single parent families will be given preference.
Fees for this additional care, are nominal and on a sliding scale. Because of the projected support from sponsoring agencies, fees may be waived altogether. The policies and guidelines for the supplemental program would be the same as the guidelines for the program that it is supporting. The director in charge of the child development/child care program, will also be in charge of this additional care, with an additional staff to support it?s functioning.
There issue of space would be solved with two options: utilizing the space that is already available at the child care center, with a few modifications to the site, such as an additional bungalow, empty classroom, church community center, or locating a centralized area of town, where space is abundant and easy to manipulate to the programs needs.
Included in the appropriate planning stages are: parents licensing people, people experienced in establishing programs, zoning people, fire and health department, attorney and the insurance agency.
(a) The going fee rates of the agency
(b) Staff: child ratio (70%-85% of the budget will be personnel related) Even small adjustments to the ratio may have major impact on fees (and budget).
(c) Rent and energy maintenance- whether charged or free.
(d) How much to charge for the transportation, if needed, will be charged to parents.
According to recent studies, about 15% to 18% of children in the United States have a chronic health condition. The presence of a chronic condition or disability affects all family members. The goal of this supplemental program would be to continue the quality of care for the children of our employees, even when their not at their best, to decrease the rate of absenteeism due to family illness, and to make our company more family oriented.
Everyone is working towards the same goal: employers want their employees at work everyday, and employees want to be able to come to work everyday, with the knowledge that even though their children are ill, there is a place for them, and that they?re being well cared for.
1. How many employees do you have working in your company?
c. 10,000 or more
2. Of these employees, about what percentage of them have infants or school age children?
d. 60% or more
3. Of the reasons listed below, what reason is most commonly given for why employees not coming in to work?
a. personal illness
b. illness of a family member (child, parent, spouse, etc.)
4. If ever made available, would you sponsor a supplemental program at a childcare facility to care for sick children, if it meant your employees would still come to work? Yes or No? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
1. Do you have children? If so, how many?
d. 4 or more
2. Are you currently employed? Yes or No
3. Do you currently have child care, and if so, do you pay a fee for it?
4. Does your child have any chronic health problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, allergies, etc?
5. Have you ever felt pressure from your employer regarding your attendance at work?
6. Is your absenteeism due to any of the following reasons:
a. Personal illness
b. Illness of a family member (child, parent, spouse, etc)
7. Of the previous selections, which is the more recurring reason for your absences?
8. Whether you?re paying for childcare now or not, would you be willing to pay a nominal fee towards your childcare if it meant that you could bring your child to the facility even if they were ill? Yes or No
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Child Day Care- General and Day Care Centers Regulations, State of California, September 1996.
School-Age NOTES- Starting After School Programs, www.schoolagenotes.com