Childcare is a huge issue

Images My friend always brings this up, childcare is a huge issue.  She is so right.  The cost of childcare is significant.  Childcare can make or break a womans career.  Many times the cost of childcare equals one salary which for some people makes that decision hard to rationalize.  Should I go to work when my salary is only paying for the childcare?  It is terrible that anyone has to make that decision. 

Childcare is clearly needed prior to a child entering pre-school.  Why aren't companies doing more to help women particularly doing those times.  Childcare on the premises?  Companies willing to help pay for childcare during those years as an additional perk?  I am just tossing this out there.

Many of the women I am working with these days are in the young children mode or are going to get there sooner than later.  The good news for all of them is that they are entrepreneurs.  The beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are master of your own destiny.  More than likely your board will be happy to pay a salary that allows any of these women to cover their childcare as well as they have complete flexibility in their day to day lives.  Although they probably work longer and harder than most but they still control their time. 

I was speaking with someone today on the phone, a female entrepreneur and she has two young children.  As much as she enjoys being a Mom, being at home is not for her.  She worked in corporate jobs prior to having kids but now she has her own company and she wouldn't go back to the structured demands of corporate world for anything in the world. How would she deal with her kids? 

These days I rarely hear the rumble about childcare.  Are the start-ups that are becoming multi-million dollar companies making intelligent decisions about helping their employees with childcare as well as flexibility with their lives? I certainly hope so. 

Years ago I ran a company in the garment center.  I left the company for a variety of reasons which is a story in itself but I chose not to start my own company afterward even though I had the ability to because I was concerned that I would not be present in my kids lives.  Instead I opted to take a job in another company feeling that it was the right choice as a Mom.  Truthfully it was a bad decision because not only was I bored out of my mind, when the guy I was working for fired me (another story) he said that he should be reporting to me and that the person who he reported should be reporting to me too. So in essence he confirmed for me that I should have taken the right job for me because I would have been happier and happy parents make happy kids.  So back to the story.  Emily is sick, she has pneumonia.  I had to take her to get a chest xray, she is 10 months old.  I was upset and a little flipped out.  I leave the place where we had the xrays taken and call the office to check in.  They want to know when I am coming back.  Seriously?  My kid has pneumonia, I am obviously getting the job done and will showing up for a few hours at the end of the day make or break the work week…no.  The first thing that came to my mind was when I ran the company in the same industry, although I was the second person to a one man band company, I completely controlled my own destiny and coming back to the office was my choice not someone else's. That was the last time I worked for someone else.

Childcare is one of the reasons many women make decisions in their careers.  That is one thing that I hope the next generation of companies are figuring out….happy workers, happy families, happy communities and in the end more profitable companies.