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Finding Child-Care Help in Cyberspace
The World Wide Web doesn't make a very good babysitter, but it just might help your employees find one. A number of Web sites now address the child-care concerns of working families and what businesses, large and small, can do to tackle work/family issues.
In addition to the Web sites listed below, The Child Care Action Campaign, a New York City-based nonprofit child-care advocacy group, which doesn't have a Web site yet, can be reached by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The group provides brochures and publications for employers considering child-care assistance to employees or investment in community child-care resources.
Here is a list of Web sites and a brief description of what they each offer. Note: This is a longer, online-only version of the table that appears in the Sept. 1, 1997 issue of Business Week.
The Families & Work Institute
This New York City-based nonprofit research and consulting group is one of the best known centers studying the conflicting demands of work and personal life -- and the corporate strategies to resolve them. The Web site contains a useful descriptive listing of publications that can be ordered from the group. They include an invaluable tome -- The Corporate Reference Guide to Work-Family Programs -- for those who want to see how some of America's top corporations are responding to work/family issues.
Care Around the Clock
Increasingly, American workplaces are operating outside of the traditional nine-to-five schedule, but most child-care centers and babysitters are not. This report, from the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Labor Dept., examines the problem of finding child care in those nontraditional hours and takes a look at some employer and community initiatives to address the issue.
The Labor Project for Working Families
Benefits at nonunion workplaces often are influenced by the policies that have been hammered out by management and labor in union shops. The Berkeley (Calif.)-based Labor Project for Working Families has set up a site offering a host of useful information on work/family policies at unionized workplaces in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the site's "clearinghouse" provides summaries of contract language and tells how to order more in-depth information.
New Ways to Work
This nonprofit research and consulting group, based in San Francisco, Calif., specializes in the study of alternative work schedules. You can print out an order form from the Web site to purchase their listed publications, most of which address how small and large companies can introduce flexible hours to employees. Among its publications: "Managing in a Flexible Workplace: How to Select and Manage Alternative Work Options."
The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a respected New York City-based group that conducts research into a variety of corporate and management issues. Although most of its work/family studies focus on very large companies, its findings can often be useful to smaller businesses as well. The site lists and summarizes Conference Board publications, including many of interest to managers who want to tackle work/family issues. Head for the "Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness" section to find listings of publications, which can be ordered online. One example: "Work/Family: Part-Time Employment," a survey covering the benefits and difficulties of managing a part-time workforce.
The Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management, an Alexandria (Va.)-based organization for human resource professionals offers a wealth of information on all sorts of personnel matters. Use a keyword like "child care" or "flex-time" on the site's easy-to-use search function to call up summaries or the entire text of articles about work/family issues.
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