This past week you may have seen the news stories about the group of 1800 moms working for Amazon calling for company CEO Jeff Bezos to provide some kind of back-up child care for those days when someone is sick or school closes. They’ve also asked the company’s human resource department to collect data about child care challenges. Thank you, Momazonians!
Business-oriented press outlets like Bloomberg and Fox Business picked up the story, as did tech-oriented outlets like Geekwire which writes, “The employees are collecting evidence that shows how not providing backup daycare stunts career growth for female workers at Amazon…hop[ing] to convince Amazon…the benefit would help Amazon retain and recruit talented female employees.” Amazon is one of the world’s largest companies, with over about 250,000 in the U.S. – it is a powerhouse. We know the influence Amazon has – imagine if that power is brought to bear on the issue of early care and education. I have posted, tweeted, and blogged about child care being an economic development issue as much as it’s an education issue, as much as it’s a family issue.
Getting the kids off to school and yourself off to work can be a complicated juggling act. When a child falls ill, or school closes for a snow day, many parents cannot afford to take a day off – just call in sick, or ask for the day off to care for a child. Backup child care arrangements are important. Think of the peace of mind, knowing a safe, quality, licensed drop-off program is available in a pinch. As a parent, I am comforted. As an employer, I am happy my employee will be productive and no work time is lost.
Oftentimes, the reliance on child care is taken for granted because most often, child care programs are open and operating. We should not take it for granted. In this parody video, “A Day Without Child Care” becomes a reality. While humorous, its message is stark.
Good luck Momazonians – thank you for lending your collective voices and advocating for smart, effective child care policies!