(NewsUSA) – When school lets out for the summer, working
parents are challenged with finding safe, convenient and affordable care for their children while
they are at work.
Some parents look for camps or search for home caregivers, while others are fortunate to work
for companies that offer on-site programs, which gives them the comfort of knowing their children
are nearby and safe. However, only 7 percent of U.S. companies provide child care, according to the
Sloan Work and Family Research Network in Massachusetts.
One company that offers on-site child care is Roche. Its accredited child care
facility is located one block from the company's North American pharmaceutical headquarters in
"Parents interested in on-site child care at their company should first get together and
establish an exploratory committee to determine the feasibility of establishing such a center in
their workplace," said Dianne Keel-Atkins, director of the Roche Child Care Center.
"If the committee decides to move forward, the next step is to discuss with the employer how
a child care center would be an asset for everyone. For example, illustrate how such productivity
issues as lateness and absences are reduced when employees have quality and convenient child care
available near the workplace."
Keel-Atkins also noted that summer is a perfect time for child-care facilities to offer
programs that are enjoyable for kids and also help broaden their horizons.
For example, the Roche Child Care Center offers a summer program in which children learn what
it takes to run their own business by running a lemonade company. Children set up the "company,"
order supplies and ingredients and prepare order forms. They also design ads and lemonade stands
and develop job descriptions for their "employees."
The center also offers a mentorship program designed to raise the consciousness of older
children and sensitize them to the downside of bullying youngsters. This program pairs older and
younger kids in a way that establishes a mentoring relationship during the eight-week summer
Parents interested in establishing child care at their own companies can contact the Families
and Work Institute at 212-465-2044 or www.familiesandwork.org.