Supplemental Childcare Program

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