Bell Atlantic, CWA and IBEW Partner to Provide Child-Care During School Holidays
Kids in the Workplace Expands to Two Massachusetts Locations
April 12, 2000
Sharon Beadle, Bell Atlantic,
NEW YORK - School holidays-kids love them, parents dread them. Who's going to watch the kids while mom and dad are at work?
Thanks to a program recently launched in Massachusetts by Bell Atlantic, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) that question is easily answered: Bring the kids to work.
Kids in the Workplace, a program sponsored by Bell Atlantic, the CWA and the IBEW, provides day care for employees' school-aged children (from kindergarten to age 12) at their work locations on holidays when public schools are closed, but Bell Atlantic is open.
The program, which has been underway in Bell Atlantic locations in the Mid-Atlantic States for several years, kicks off this month in Marlboro and Andover, Mass., to help parents during spring recess.
"Kids in the Workplace has been a huge success in other areas of the company, so we worked with our unions to expand it to parts of Massachusetts," said Christine Degiacomo, Bell Atlantic manager, WorkLife-New England. "It's one of many resources we offer to help our employees manage their personal and professional lives.
"Programs like this have been shown to reduce employee stress and absenteeism, which directly impacts a company's bottom line. In addition, employees who know their children are being cared for nearby are more focused on providing quality service to our customers," Degiacomo said.
"This program will give me peace of mind that my youngest daughter will be in the same building with me and my oldest daughter, who also works here," said Mary McMahon, service representative, Andover Home Market Center. "If not for this program, I either would have had to hire a sitter or take vacation time."
The children are cared for in a reserved space, such as a conference room or other vacant office space, which is staffed by certified, licensed caregivers. Youngsters participate in structured activities. There is no charge to employees, but children must be registered in advance to participate. A total of 45 employees have registered 68 children to attend Kids in the Workplace in the two Massachusetts locations during the spring holiday.
In Andover, Mass., the Kids in the Workplace program, which will operate the weeks of April 17 and April 24, is funded by the joint Union/Management Regional and Local Work and Family Committees and Bell Atlantic.
This program will fill an enormous need for our members, who are predominantly female," said Melissa Morin, president, CWA Local 1400. "It enables our representatives to provide care for their children while continuing to meet the demanding business needs they face today."
In Marlboro, Mass., the program is open the week of April 17 and is fully funded by the IBEW Work and Family Committee.
"This program is a culmination of efforts between Bell Atlantic management and the IBEW, " said Adele Stacy, co-chair, IBEW Work and Family Committee. "Our members are looking forward to using the Kids in the Workplace program and are very grateful to the senior IBEW members who worked tirelessly through the years to make this effort a reality."
The success of Kids in the Workplace is a direct result of the cooperation between local Bell Atlantic management and the CWA and IBEW. Ceridian Performance Partners, a Minneapolis-based company that provides work effectiveness programs for over 10,000 client companies, manages the program for Bell Atlantic.
Editors: For photographs or to visit one of the locations, call Sharon Beadle 212-395-1802.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.