Score One for National Work and Family Month
Anyone who's dipped a toe into the work/life integration conversation knows that a child's care isn't just a functional solution to a problem. When done right, it doesn't just allow parents to go to work - it's the thing that allows them to actually do the work once they get there.
I thought about this recently when I read some parenting advice featuring my Bright Horizons colleagues.
In a pair of recent articles, Linda Whitehead, PhD, vice president of education and development, shared some key tips for working moms and dads dealing with the thorny process of searching for the right preschool program and trying to figure out what kinds of preschools are available. She also talked to Working Mother magazine about how to manage the difficulty for parent and child when a beloved preschool teacher leaves. Rachel Robertson, MA, director of education and development, currently appears on the Working Mother YouTube video channel talking about new-teacher transition tips.
These are all relevant topics - and not just for parents. Because when a working mom struggles with what to look for in a pre-school or when a working dad spends an inordinate amount of time web surfing because he has no idea what's out there for his children, it takes away from the other things these employees are supposed to be doing - and that includes work.
Why education experts matterEmployers offer childcare for a variety of reasons - to attract the best employees, to retain these folks, to be an employer of choice. But for it to be effective, it has to offer more than just the mechanics of providing care. That the national media looks to the Bright Horizons team for their expertise on children - and not just the employer benefits of offering care - says something about our programs. Indeed, the curriculum in all Bright Horizons centers is informed by that expertise - a deep understanding about how children learn and how they develop. And that's where a strong education team makes a difference.
It's the reason I root for my home team (no, I'm not talking about the World Series, although I do have my favorite there), especially during Work and Family Month in October. I'm so proud that the "outside world" looks to members of the Bright Horizons education team for expert information. But I'm equally proud of the work they do every day for the children who are in our care.
Because when it comes right down to it, for any employer to reap the rewards of this important benefit, the care offered must be more than just a solution - it has to be a solution that gives parents the best expertise in the field.