People who criticize 24-hour care don’t understand today’s reality

People who criticize 24-hour care don’t understand today’s reality – Brief Article

Parents are demanding care that accommodates their 24X7 schedules, and even many who hate the idea agree that it’s necessary.

Children’s Choice Learning Centers, provider of 24-hour employer-supported childcare, has five centers up and running, with contracts for seven more. Around the country, employers and communities are struggling to meet the growing need for odd-hour care, fighting the squeamishness of parents, providers and childcare experts who worry about long hours away from parents and lack of sleep for preschoolers. “Children,” says one psychiatrist, “are especially vulnerable and prone to anxiety at bedtime, and with high staff turnover, they may face a changing cast tucking them in.” But attitudes are changing, says this article. Says Judy Harden, family-care coordinator for United Auto Workers and a fighter for overnight facilities, “People who criticize … don’t understand the reality of today’s workplace.” That reality has changed dramatically since welfare reform passed in 1996; in Washington state, the number of families seeking odd-hour care has surged 53%. And there’s an explosion, says this article, of round-t he-clock telephone call centers, computer facility sites and retailers that close late or not at all. But if work schedules leave parents no choice but institutional overnight care, says T. Berry Brazelton, “We’d better rethink our whole system.”

COPYRIGHT 2001 Work & Family Connection, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group