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Do Techies Care For Daycare?

Cliff posted more than 14 years ago | from the keep-the-rugrats-out-of-the-server-room-please dept.

The Almighty Buck 252

DeICQLady writes "After browsing this, I remembered numerous days on my co-op when my mentor and other engineers had to come up with ways to entertain their children (when they had to be out of school, snowstorm, et al.) and had to do this instead of concentrating on work. I have not heard of many companies wanting to do anything about it. Is it that techies don't want (need?) it? Would it be to our advantage if companies were concerned about providing this for us? Why or why not?" The majority of "techies" are still young, male and single so daycare really isn't a factor for them until they are well into their careers. However, this majority is quickly dwindling and it may due to think about other 'perks' that the workplace can offer other than free cell phones and Internet access. What do you all think?

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it may be frustrating (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 14 years ago | (#645689)

but if you let someone else handle your kids, do you want to take responsibility? would you rather come up with ways to entertain your kids or would you rather let them watch tv?

if they're old enough, give them lego, if they're not, give them duplo. but keep them with you... hell telecommute if you have to, but don't leave your kids unattended until they're 'old enough' to handle themselves.
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

Good idea (2)

NineNine (235196) | more than 14 years ago | (#645690)

I don't have kids, and I won't but I worked for SAS Corporation in Cary, NC, US a while back. They're famous for how well they treat their employees, and I think that they have daycare AND preschool right on their campus. Parents often ate lunch with their kids. Not only could parents be more productive by not having to worry about daycare (when SAS was open, so was the daycare), but employee satisfaction, thus employee retention at that company is among the highest in the industry.

Companies need day care (1)

Bocephus (6835) | more than 14 years ago | (#645691)

The fact is, I would be much more willing to work for a given company if I had a less than school-age child for whom the company would provide daycare services. I'd say that this is a benefit which would make workers much happier than free cell phones or even company cars.

If done right... (2)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 14 years ago | (#645692)

this could be very good. You are right in that most of the techies for whom this would be a good thing have been around for awhile and that these are the people who don't need it for the money but more for the taking care of the kids so they can get their job done sort of thing. I think that setting up a onsite deal would be overkill too much money and not enough people using it. But arranging for a last minute drop off at a place that is close to work and with whom the company has a good realationship would be a good thing. This would give them a good way to take care an emergency. I'm thinking that most of the techs who need something ongoing have arragenments with which they are happy and that the company just needs to provide a net for those days when things go wrong.

Re:it may be frustrating (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 14 years ago | (#645693)

Well, I don't have kids, I'm not married, and I'm currently sans girlfriend, so I really can't see how this is an issue for me.

But, daycare seems to work just fine for lots of kids, so why would it be different for techies? Other then the fact that they tend to work a lot more hours a week, have incredibly odd schedules, can take a lot of trips to deal with on-site problems, and are generally lacking in social skills...

Why nothing at all... actually daycare may be the best thing for them... gives them time with normal people...

Oh, and telecommuting is not an option for everyone. A lot of businesses don't have the option, or severely restrict it.


Watch for hypocrisy (5)

Zigg (64962) | more than 14 years ago | (#645694)

I highly recommend that anyone who would call for IT companies (or any company, for that matter) to provide daycare while they are also calling for parental responsibility instead of government censorship think twice about what they are saying. By giving your children, which are supposed to be the most important thing in your life, to daycare, you are explicitly opting out of taking parental responsibility.

My own children will never be in "daycare". Until they start going to school, they'll either be cared for by myself or my wife, or another family member, even if it means we have to live that much more frugally. Those engineers who had to "entertain their children" instead of "concentrating on work" (doesn't that ring alarm bells in anyone else's heads?) had the right idea.

Re:it may be frustrating (2)

JurriAlt137n (236883) | more than 14 years ago | (#645695)

But, daycare seems to work just fine for lots of kids

Excuse me? Did you look at the progress of the human race as a whole lately? You know, starvation, wars, religious disputes. Oh wait, we already did that before daycare kicked in. Oh well, go ahead, give your kids to KILLER NANNY.

I'm single. Why should I pay for your day care? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#645696)

Employees using day care services can pay for it with lower salaries than single workers. Don't force me to subsidize your kids. Besides, if IT workers are so highly paid, then why isn't your spouse at home 24/7 with the kids? Can't afford that? Don't have time for that? Then why are you having kids?

DayCare requires Loyalty (2)

grovertime (237798) | more than 14 years ago | (#645697)

As a young father and a tech professional, daycare on the job is important to me, but rarely even an option. My feeling is that the lack of daycare is directly due to the lack of corporate loyalty among the tech industry. Most of us are essentially hired guns; freelancers who are loyal to our community and our focus, but rarely to our company. Thus, due to high turnover and an unreasonable focus on providing $200 gadgets to people earning six figure salaries (as a means of luring them), there is little focus on the elemental pillars of life (ie. techie's with family responsibilities, personal necessities, physical abnormalities, etc.). The real question is this.....while we bicker about whether there is such a thing as a virtual community, can anyone even explain to me whether there is a REAL, non-abstracted techie community?

  1. O P E N___S O U R C E___H U M O R [mikegallay.com]

A good idea (1)

EfromVT (156208) | more than 14 years ago | (#645698)

I think that helping with daycare is a great idea but most employers don't offer it because of the cost. It costs a lot of money to find a place, buy equipment (toys, stuff for food, tables...) and hire competent staff.

You are more likely to find this situation if you work for a large company whose main focus is not just IT. The greater the number of people in the company the more of a mix of situations, sexes and ages of workers so there will probably be more demand for daycare.

My wife and I had this discussion recently because we are finishing an adoption of two children under two. Fortunately for us my wife will be able to quit her job and stay home with them which is probably best for all kids but just not practical for many people today.

Re:it may be frustrating (1)

angry old man (211217) | more than 14 years ago | (#645699)

Hey let's not forget about Day-Nursing Care for our grandparents! I don't want my techie-grandson runnING off To his fancy schmancy day job without dropping me off at the home on the way.

If you kids knew what was good for you, then you'd all get jobs that have day-care for your elders.

Need to keep your kids busy? (1)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 14 years ago | (#645700)

One word: Lego.
-the wunderhorn

-the wunderhorn
#define OH_YES_INDEED 1

Speak For Yourself, Young Man (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#645701)

I've been a techie for over two decades. I have children and get to deal with caring for them somehow. I do use my high-speed home Internet for telecommuting when I can, but usually the client environment does not allow that. Child care is an issue. (And I post anonymously just because this part of my personal life doesn't need to be connected to my public techie persona.)

Interesting.... (1)

Sheeple Police (247465) | more than 14 years ago | (#645702)

but isn't it a cheaper alternative to buy a few old 486's and let the engineers kids play with them?

The way I figure, the kids already have a disposition to electronics due to their environment, so give them a few flashing lights, a sharp object or two in the form of a screw driver, and you're set.

Oh, and don't say I'm being sexist. We all know the girls would get a kick out of playing with toner ribbons, or play "House" with Suzy Semiconducter and Phil Pentium (Ok, now you can say I'm being sexist).


Day Care (2)

IanCarlson (16476) | more than 14 years ago | (#645703)

At my current place of employment, I could probably enroll myself in day care.

It sounds to me like day care is just one more perk that your employer would like to throw at you to keep you from leaving when something better comes down the road. In all honesty, I don't know why child care wasn't offered sooner. Hell, there are companies in Silicon Valley that'll walk your dog for you, then bring him back to your cube.

Why shouldn't they take my kid outside to crap in a bush, too?

An emphatic YES! (5)

empesey (207806) | more than 14 years ago | (#645704)

I would love for someone to feed me cookies and juice while I'm working. I wouldn't turn down an attractive female singing songs to me while I'm debugging some heinous code either. I'd get a box full of toys (which I would gladly share with the other programmers). Currently my job doesn't allow me to take naps, but with daycare it's part of the package.

Sign me up.

Dog Daycare (1)

inetd (21373) | more than 14 years ago | (#645705)

I am a tech guy working in new york, and the hours can be pretty ridiculous, 7am - 11pm+ has happened a number of days in a row. Aside from the financial benefit from working this much, and living in new york. I would like a enhanced concierge service provided by the company. To do things like walk my dog, bring it to the park, pick up laundry, grocery shopping etc. It may seem like i am asking for hotel like services, but aside from going out and finding these individual services, i would like someone to coordinate. That would make my life worlds easier.

Re:Some techies shouldn't be allowed to procreate. (1)

JurriAlt137n (236883) | more than 14 years ago | (#645706)

I have to assume from both your post and your sig that you think that the entire tech-world consists of coders... Are you a coder yourself and just unable to imagine anyone in a different line of business posting to Slashdot? Or was this an attempt at a joke?

Good idea. (1)

mach-5 (73873) | more than 14 years ago | (#645707)

Actually, I think its a great idea to a least have the option for low cost or free day care. Some smaller companies probably can't afford (or there isn't enough interest) to have their own day care, so it would make more sense to contract it out. However, not having it at all, leaves out those who could really, really use it.

Ideally, when if I ever have a family, I would like to stay home with my children and see them through their childhood. That will only happen if my wife can make enough money to support the family.

Daycare != irresponsible (3)

Ratteau (183242) | more than 14 years ago | (#645708)

Daycare is a very responsible thing to do for your children. This is certainly not opting out of anything -- its not as if you would have been there with them at that time anyway, you would have been at work. Remember, the person you are going to be is pretty much defined by the age of 6 (I cannot give a specific footnote here, sorry), and this interaction is very important.

Responsible parents check out multiple daycare centers in their community, get references, etc. It is the start of education, and where most kids begin to develop their social skills, i.e. how to deal with other children, share, etc.

And daycare is not just for preschoolers -- many offer programs for younger elementary school children after school and before their parent(s) get home.

You have some good points about living more frugally, but some people just cannot do that, and I think your opening statment is a bit extreme

Of course we do! (1)

pvera (250260) | more than 14 years ago | (#645709)

Day care is pretty damn expensive around here. Many women stay at home because if they go to work then most of their salary will go to day care. That's the case with my wife right now, if we could afford day care then she could go to work and I could telecommute without worrying that I'll be distracted and my little boy will decide to climb on the fridge or something and then do a free fall jump.


Great Idea (1)

big_groo (237634) | more than 14 years ago | (#645710)

I have a child. Day care in my area ranges from 250 - 600 bucks a month. Let's say you have to be at work at 8:00. Get up at 6:00, get yourself, the kid etc. packed, leave for work at 7:00 to get the kid to day care - rush to work. At the end of the day - rush to day care (you have to pick up your kid by 5:30 - 6, or they sell 'em) pick up the kid, get the wife, go home. *whew*.

I would *LOVE* to have day care where I work. EVERY employee would take advantage of it. Hell, with the amount of money that I'd save each month, I could pay for my own cell phone, internet access, and gym membership. This is something that would free up time from my already busy day, and reduce stress.

You'd be a fool to turn this benefit down if it was ever offered. Don't have kids yet? When you do you'll wish you had day care on the job. You'll see...

Techies And Daycare (2)

AntiTuX (202333) | more than 14 years ago | (#645711)

I like the fact that some companies offer daycare on-premise. Unfortunately, Netscape isn't one of them. My wife and I don't have any children yet, but when we do, I would like to get them involved in a Daycare, so that we (my wife and I), can both continue to work.
It's a very good thing for children to interact with other children also. It builds character and relationships. It teaches kids to interact with each other, and also build friendships. I like daycares, and would like to have one down here when i plan to breed :)

Freelance, you'll have no regrets (1)

Anne Marie (239347) | more than 14 years ago | (#645712)

The only effective way of guaranteeing childcare for the time being is to freelance. Companies will wise up as the current techie population ages and consolidates, but you're insane if you try to bank on it at the moment.

But almost more important than merely having childcare is selecting the correct childcare. Do you want to put your kids in a corporate kennel where their talents as geeklings are squandered or redirected into boorish pursuits consistent with the popular culture that most geeks reject? Is your daycare going to provide a rigorous regime of lego mindstorms that each little geek needs to grow up into a thinking free self? Free software == good but free minds == eh?

No, thanks. Freelancing frees you up to make these individual choices for your individual children (and we're all individuals deep down inside, right?). Flexible work hours, typically higher pay, fewer social cancellations... like I said, you're insane if you're still on salary. The market's tight now, so now's the time to secure a better financial situation. There'll be plenty of time in the recessions ahead to sit back and resign oneself to a salaried position. And by then, hopefully your kids will be grown up and supporting themselves.

Your life is passing before your very eyes. Soon you'll be old and your children will resent all the time you spent slaving at the corporate machine instead of teaching them to be machine builders of their own. Do you want to wake up and find yourself old, hirsute, hoary, and feeling sorry for yourself? Take control now. You're good enough and smart enough. The rest will follow.

Companies should provide childcare (2)

cheekymonkey_68 (156096) | more than 14 years ago | (#645713)

I don't think its high on companies priorities for retaining staff, but if they want to retain the older experienced coders it should be.

I'm just finishing the 4th year of a Software Engineering Honours degree and became a dad last year.

When I go back into the big wide world again, working conditions and childcare will take precedance over salary.

I'd love to work at a company that provides a decent creche, but I'd be more impressed if my kid left the creche and actually learnt something creative.

Hi-Tech companies should be trying to inspire the coders of tomorrow. I'd love to see a creche where they make the kids learn creatively using graphics packages like the GIMP to draw their first pictures, or programming robots using lego mindstorms.

What I Think (2)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 14 years ago | (#645714)

What do you all think?

I think people should stop being selfish and hateful, and learn how to love each other again. Then, we wouldn't have so many divorces (and yes, you divorcees, it's partially your fault). As well as that, every set of parents should do absolutely everything in their power to leave one parent at home.

Me? I sleep better knowing that my children are being raised by my wife, whom I trust completely. (As an aside - if you think about it, you'll realize that kids in day care are raised by other kids more than the day care workers. That's frightening.)

That's the best solution. Anything else is a cheap imitation.

Daycare, no, $, yes! (2)

digThisXL (252109) | more than 14 years ago | (#645715)

For those of us with a spouse/partner:

Rather than give us the perqs of daycare, why not pay us the additional dollars so we can afford to have our spouse/partner can stay home and raise the kids?

I have noticed a lot of young couples are going back to this "old-fashioned" way of family life.


Re:Watch for hypocrisy (1)

rotor (82928) | more than 14 years ago | (#645716)

Thank god there are still responsible people like you around. Personally, when my first child is born, my wife is planning on reducing her hours and switching to an evening shift so one of us can be with the children at all times. If there turns out to be any overlap, we're fortunate that a good friend of ours who lives two houses down the road runs a daycare and we can leave the children with her for a while.
Unfortunately, many people are not so lucky. I'm thinking particularly of single parents who live too far away from family to have them take care of the children while they work. This is a case where on-the-job daycare seems to be the best option. For these parents it gives them a chance to maintain some contact with their children throughout the day while still knowing that they are safe and being looked after.


Re:Watch for hypocrisy (2)

wind (94988) | more than 14 years ago | (#645717)

I don't believe that sending your children to a good (emphasis on that) daycare facility is any more of a parental copout than sending them to school. In both cases, they end up being taken care of by relative strangers who you hope will not undo your hard work as parent (regarding things like critical thinking and behavior).

I think for only children it is actually a good thing to get them used to interacting with other children at an early age. I have a sister who is 13 years younger than me, so I basically grew up as an only child. I didn't go to daycare, but my sister did. I think she has turned out to be much more comfortable in social situations than me, and while who knows what other factors might be involved, I think being around other children from an early age probably helped.

Sending your children to daycare is not giving up responsibility for them, and I think that companies are well served to make childcare available (off-site, with a high quality daycare facility that is more than a child dumping ground) at a discount for ongoing service, or at least for those emergencies when the usual arrangements fail.


Daycare would come soon..its not of priority now. (1)

cOdEgUru (181536) | more than 14 years ago | (#645718)

I believe soon Daycare would be in everyones mind. But not right now. Look at the hitech industry. I would say that the majority of the engg department consists of Non US citizens, who have a spouse who takes care of the kids at home. Daycare is not much of an issue there.

Another fact is that, the tech industry were booming so rapidly, that people screwed up their priorities. Money and StockOptions came first, comfort and kids came last. This would soon change as the industry stabilizes and these issues would come to the forefront soon. If you look at recent polls conducted, that idiotic foosball game rated last among the perks people wanted.

Simple Solution: Stop Breeding! (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 14 years ago | (#645719)

I'm sick of people whining about the high cost of daycare and having to wake up at 5 am to take their kids to the babysitter, etc.. The simple solution here is: If you don't want the responsibilities that come with having children, KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS! It can't get much easier than that. If you want kids, that's great, but don't whine about all the inconveniences that come with that. The fact is having kids is a HUGE responsibility. Fortunately, it's also totally optional.

Is this an issue? (2)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 14 years ago | (#645720)

Are there any techies out there with enough social skills to actually find a mate and manage to procreate? Why get married and have kids when you could be spending your evenings in the basement writing code?

Disclaimer: this message is posted in jest (Score: 5, Funny). I happen to be a husband and father (and techie) myself, so I know that this is a serious issue.

Quit your job. (1)

Byteme (6617) | more than 14 years ago | (#645721)

Then become a teacher... that way you will have the same days off.

Or better, don't spawn.

Seriously, children should be the first priority. If you cannot take a day off to provide for your child, you are irresponsible. If your company provides this service, then great... I would opt to stay home than have some stranger care for my child on a snow-day or whatever.

Phones vs Daycare vs Other (2)

MattW (97290) | more than 14 years ago | (#645722)

I'd guess that employer-sponsored daycare, even if the costs were passed on dollar for dollar to employees, would be very welcome if they made room for it onsite. Even if most techies remained male, they still may well want daycare down the road, because they may have wives who work in other industries that aren't so obliged to provide good benefits to attract employees.

That said, let me add that in many tech jobs, a cell phone isn't a 'perk' anyhow. It's just another way for your employer to harass you after-hours, and keep you working 24x7.

From an economic standpoint, daycare makes sense if you can make considerably more than your daycare costs. I haven't had a chance to face this particular dilemna yet, but imagine this scenario:

Husband: $110k/yr as an engineer manager
Wife: $65k/yr as, say, a sysadmin, or QA tester

Let's say, for the sake of argument, this is California. With the marriage penalty in place on their income, all her income (if you consider her working vs not working) is taxed at 31, then 36% for a small portion, federal. 9.3% CA tax. So, her $65k, just assuming a 41.3% effective tax rate (which is low, factoring in Social Security and other payroll-based taxes), has dropped to 38k. Now she has to pay for daycare. She's working full time, so that's 200 days per year. Let's say that 1/4 of those are during summer. That's 150 days of childcare for 3 hours, say, and 50 days of childcare for 10 hours. Assuming $7/hr for daycare, she's now paying $6650/yr per child. On 2 children, that means $13300, a cost of working, lowering her net income to $24500. Again, these numbers are generous. Daycare could easily cost more (especially in the valley), taxes take a larger bite. And then the parents have to ask: is it worth not having one full-time parent for the income? In the silicon valley, they may be so tight there's no choice, because of soaring housing costs. Of course, this analysis changes a lot for single parents who must have daycare, and either way, I think many large employers can become more attractive to 'established' workers, because you have to be fairly sizable to do daycare in house. But I live 10 minutes from Dell HQ, and their campus is colossal. Several of my neighbors work there. Having daycare (which they probably do) would undoubtedly go over very well, and help them to compete for workers against fresh startups with enticing options and chances for advancement.

So, in the end, the question I have to ask is: will daycare attract workers only? Or will it actually create them? (by drawing stay-at-home parents into the workforce they left behind because the childcare is a reasonable option)

Re:Dog Daycare (1)

topher71 (234377) | more than 14 years ago | (#645723)

If you want that, get out of New York. Most companies in The Valley provide concierge services now.

Of course, they require your life in return. Those 7am to 11pm days will turn into years...

A Young And Scattered Workforce (2)

Prof_Dagoski (142697) | more than 14 years ago | (#645724)

I always get a sense that the high tech force is a young one that may not even have kids to put in daycare--or ones that are old enough. So, any demand for daycare as high tech perk may only just be starting. The other thing is that day care is a fairly rare benefit. A lot of government and university positions may have it, but I've seldom seen it offered as a benefit in any corporate position I've bid on. And, when I have its almost always available only at the company HQ. The other reason why we may not see this at high tech firms is because the need is being filled to some extent elsewhere. First off, how many us actually work at a high tech firm as opposed to the info tech department in a place that does someting else as its main business? Secondly, I often see sort of parental split among couples. The guy takes the job at the wizzo high paying tech haus, while the gal takes the government/university job with the lower pay and top notch benefits. So, I don't know if techies are actually asking for daycare as benefit or option.

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (2)

ebh (116526) | more than 14 years ago | (#645725)

By giving your children [...] to daycare, you are explicitly opting out of taking parental responsibility.

I don't want to use too much technical jargon here, but...


My wife and I overlap our work schedules such that our son is in daycare 4.5 hours a day. This hardly qualifies as him being raised by someone else. He gets loads of attention every day from both of us, but while at daycare, he learns social skills he can't get at home (where there are no other children). Our daycare providers are loving parents themselves who care for their charges as if they were their own children.

There is absolutely no truth to the idea that your child will be unjustly deprived unless one or the other parent is supervising him or her at all times.

Re:it may be frustrating (2)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 14 years ago | (#645726)

Killer nannys aren't the problem. It's the idea of kids in day care generally being raised by the other kids in day care. That's not good for the children. Their role models are either the adults there, who have no real reason to actually love the children (although many do), or the other children, or whatever crap they see on television.

I'll take my wife over any of those, any day.

Attention Joe Coder, Report to DayCare IMMEDIATELY (1)

DRO0 (252117) | more than 14 years ago | (#645727)

Of course having an onsite daycare can have its drawbacks. Like announcements over the P.A. that your kid has pooped all over himself and you must take care of the situation immediately. As if I needed to add more potential embarrassment and stress in my life!

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (5)

big_groo (237634) | more than 14 years ago | (#645728)

Opting out of taking parental responsibility?? Are you mad?

This is an exccellent example of providing parental responsibility! You have to actively interview the said "daycare" to see if it is right for your child. Daycare workers have degrees in Developmental Psychology, Early childhood education, etc. etc. etc. If anything, they're more qualified than YOU are to raise a kid.

You make it sound as if we're dropping our kids off at "Less's Crack House/Daycare Centre"

What exactly do you think Kindergarten is? Glorified daycare. Daycare provides a child with something you cannot. Socialization skills. You can't provide that in the home - unless you're a Mormon with an enormous family - that would explain the "parental responsibility" comment.

Some people simply can't afford to not work. We were fortunate enough to have my wife take 2 years off. What about the single mothers? Single fathers? Unless, of course, you're happy with welfare...

Re:Great Idea (1)

hurst (221158) | more than 14 years ago | (#645729)

OK, you can have your daycare... but being your childless co-worker, I better get $250-$600 worth of benefits relevant to my lifestyle choices.

Defining who a child is (1)

Cardinal (311) | more than 14 years ago | (#645730)

Remember, the person you are going to be is pretty much defined by the age of 6 (I cannot give a specific footnote here, sorry), and this interaction is very important.

...And as such, I don't want who my children become to be influenced by a day care employee more than myself or my wife. No thanks.

Day care? Go back a step. (1)

Anal Surprise (178723) | more than 14 years ago | (#645731)

I'm as interested in the "technie" (bleh) points of view on breeding. Bad thing? Good thing? Good for me and bad for everyone else? (yuck, I hate this proto-eugenic and occasionally quasi-racist point of view)

I personally consider myself to be childfree, so this just gets lumped into the big list of benefits I can't use.

Re:I'm single. Why should I pay for your day care? (2)

Sterling Anderson (235186) | more than 14 years ago | (#645732)

First let me just say you are an idiot.

Employees using day care services can pay for it with lower salaries than single workers. Don't force me to subsidize your kids.

Companies will subsidize daycare to attract and keep employees. Just like they subsidize health care and offer investment opportunities to their employees. If you do not have children you do not participate in the daycare, just like if you already have health insurance you will not participate in the company's health insurance program.

Then why are you having kids?,

I'd like to ask your parents the same question.

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (5)

nellardo (68657) | more than 14 years ago | (#645733)

I highly recommend that anyone who would call for IT companies (or any company, for that matter) to provide daycare while they are also calling for parental responsibility instead of government censorship think twice about what they are saying.
Okay. I'm a parent. My daughter (4 years old) is in daycare full time. Any form of government censorship is repugnant to me.

So let's look at this again:

By giving your children, which are supposed to be the most important thing in your life, to daycare, you are explicitly opting out of taking parental responsibility.
I'm sorry - this just doesn't make sense. How have I opted out of parental responsibility by choosing how my daughter will be cared for? I have taken responsibility for deciding what kind of environment she is in. I talk with her every day about what happened at "school". Any problems she had, anything especially fun she did, anything especially significant she accomplished (like when she counted to 102). Where have I opted out of parental responsibility? Just because I am not personally around her every moment of every day? I've got news for you - that kind of hovering is smothering. You get children that can't decide anything for themselves.

Raising a child is not about producing a clone of yourself. Raising a child is about helping a human being reach his or her full potential. Exposing a child to new environments is letting the child learn. Your child will never learn to walk if you catch them before they fall.

Why companies would be hesitant (1)

DRO0 (252117) | more than 14 years ago | (#645734)

Seriously though, I have two kids and while I could see the benefits of onsite daycare, I could see why companies would be hesitant to provide it. 1. Building space is not cheap (SF Bay Area); 2. If kid gets sick then employee must take off (usually the case anyways, but almost 100% certain with onsite daycare); 3. More friction between employees with kids and those without (which is already a big problem in some places);

Deja-vu (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 14 years ago | (#645735)

After browsing this [slashdot.org] , my memory of numerous comments on this exact subject, on this exact page, not too long ago.


Re:Some techies shouldn't be allowed to procreate. (2)

Starbreeze (209787) | more than 14 years ago | (#645736)

That is *such* an insane generalization. Catering to the majority and ignoring the minority? There are plenty of women in the technology field. If there is a need in a company for daycare, it should be offered. As a female geek, I plan on having children with my future-husband. I would be much more inclined to work for a company who offered day-care. Having your children nearby in company daycare is very convenient, especially if there is any sort of problem like a child falling ill. And no worrying about driving to another day-care to pick up your kids after work etc. I can completely understand the employees wanting emplyer-provided internet access and discounted home PC's, but family is definitely more important than geeks toys and internet access.

Damn straight. (1)

Cardinal (311) | more than 14 years ago | (#645737)

My childhood before age 4 or 5 (When school started) was dominated by vast tupperware tubs of legos, at home with my sister and my mother.

Sadly, I think kids today are, instead, innundated with poor cartoon programming and cheesy action figure toys. Nothing that fires the imagination and inspires creativity more than a big pile of building blocks. How can you become an engineer if you don't build a bridge from the couch to the coffee table at age 3?!

Re:I'm single. Why should I pay for your day care? (1)

davebob (106773) | more than 14 years ago | (#645738)

Maybe because your spouse wants to work... Maybe because your spouse has a job that *gasp* might be more important than your geeky little job.

I am in the minority in my office, where my child is in daycare, most other *men* with families have wives who stay home.

This is a choice that both they and I have made.

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (1)

salmi (25226) | more than 14 years ago | (#645739)

Some people simply can't afford to have kids.

Some people simply can't afford to have sex.

Maybe it sounds preachy, but if you can't
afford to have you or your spouse stay home
with the kids for the majority of their waking
hours, maybe you should just keep the old
pants on. goes especially true for "its
not my spouse"

Company daycare (4)

Masem (1171) | more than 14 years ago | (#645740)

I don't understand why more IT departments have daycare -- think of how much MORE code you could produce in a day if you put the tykes to work (and the working are paying the company to keep them there!). And since they are 'temporary' , you don't need to worry about stock options!

Couldn't hurt (1)

macgeek (22429) | more than 14 years ago | (#645741)

The company I work at is fairly young, and about 1/4 of us have kids of varying ages. I've never heard it mentioned that we could/would offer one, but I know for a fact that just about every parent in the office would gladly bring their kids to work if there was a daycare on the premises. Just being able to go have lunch with them, or drop by for a visit when I'm sick of looking at code and need a break would probably do wonders for my productivity.

Many parents are concerned about the quality of daycares in general. I myself don't like the thought of dropping my kids off at one of those giant, corporately run free-range kid farms (aka "daycare center"), so when we found a home day-care, it was a blessing. If my company offered daycare, they'd have to make sure all the parents are pleased with their choice of people to work/run there, especially since all the parents would have very ready access to the facilities. If they do this, everyone would end up happy, so what's wrong with that?

you are fooling yourself (3)

twitter (104583) | more than 14 years ago | (#645742)

Responsible parents raise their children. Daycare falls short in many ways, and the poster was not extreem.

As rhesus monkey experiments show, infants need the security and comfort of a mother, not the "social interaction" of a daycare baby factory. Haven't you seen the films of monkeys raised on wire cages with a bottle as a mom? They grew up sociopaths because the world had never provided them warmth or security. What makes you think some overworked daycare "proffesional" is going to be able to provide any more love? Putting you child into one of these places where they are abandoned in a crib surrounded by the cries of all thier peers is just cruel.

What do you get in return for this abandonment, more money? Huh! If your wife makes less than $25,000 you are loosing money on that second car, day care, and her wardrobe, so quit slaving her.

Very few women I know really like the "liberation" and "empowerment" of work. What double think.

I *WANT* This (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 14 years ago | (#645743)

To hell with my moderator points...

I want this. My kids often have "pupil-free" days at school. Even with advance warning, we can't get daycare, because their sitters *are* in school, and their grandparents work. Of course, daycare would hve to be available on an "as needed" basis, not as a pre-signup thing.

The only problem is that a lot of the missed days come from dealing with sick kids, and no daycare in their right mind should accept sick kids (can you say "liability"? I knew you could...).

But it would definitely be a step in the right direction. I've interviewed in a few places, and probably not gotten an offer because I've told them flat out that I "have a life". It's about time the industry got a little bit "family friendly".

Alarming, Quite Alarming (1)

DeICQLady (150809) | more than 14 years ago | (#645744)

Maybe I should become a philosopher and define another term? That may clarify some of the things I had in mind.

Hmm . . .So what am I talking about? I by no means would suggest that it is created so that parents to sheirk responsibility for caring for their children (they have enough years towards publice school for that). What I had in mind was: Is my baby gonna come home excited because they learned something new? For example... the real reason for the sky being blue? (as opposed to "where does Barney live?"). And yes, daycare no is worse than hell on a warm day... but maybe if there are enough people thinkin about it and pushing for companied to provide it, then it would force govermment supported "daycare" to its knees to reform.

I also asked this question because isn't it curious how we the people that sacrifice a great deal of our lives for the sevice idistry are not demanding better security from the companies that demand out souls? Don't we deserve more for them even expecting that?

Daycare is just a small part of the big picture... Can you see it?

Just offer something similar to your childfrees (2)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 14 years ago | (#645745)

As for me, I couldn't care less for day care - no kids, ain't gonna have 'em - so I have no use for it.

That said, I've got nothing against companies that provide it, so long as they provide something of similar value to those of us who won't be taking care of it. Give benefits to your breeders, but don't overlook your nonbreeders.

Thankfully, I work for a perceptive and conscientious employer, whose HR department goes to extraordinary lengths to keep things fair.

For instance, many breeders (quite justifiably) need "a day off every now and then to take Sprogulina to the doctor/dentist". The medical professions don't work to your company's schedule, after all.

But rather than say "If you have kids, you get one day off every month to take care of them", our HR department said "all employees get a day off every month for whatever they want". Let's see here:

  • If you're a breeder, you can take Sprogulina to the doc, or take a day off to take care of her when she's running a fever of 103.
  • If you have no kids, but your parents are running a fever of 103, you've got a day for elder care.
  • If you've got pets, you can take Fluffy to the vet. Ask any pet owner - Fluffy's worth a day off too.
  • Breeder or not, pets or not, if you don't need the day for anything, you can go rock-climbing, have a long weekend, stand in line at the DMV to get your license renewed, or whatever the hell you want.

The secret to successfully apportioning a limited benefits-budget among your staff is never to pit one class of employees against another.

My HR department understands this, and I'm thankful for their efforts every day I come to work. Even our recreational events typically have a good balance between "activities for the kiddies and their parents" versus "a space for the adults to be away with the kids". (And before you think a childfree person is running HR, think again - our HR manager has two young'uns herself.)

I have no doubt that if my employer offers daycare - a perk to breeders worth $300-500 per month - it would also offer a perk of similar value (or a cash bonus for non-participants in the daycare program) to the rest of its staff.

But if my employer were to offer its breeding employees $5000/year in after-tax benefits (about $8000/year pre-tax), and non-breeders didn't get a similar shake, I'd resign in protest. Nor will I work for a company that doesn't offer its childfrees the same deal it offers its breeders.

Retention is a two-edged sword, and fairness in benefits isn't just right from an ethical perspective, it makes good business sense too.

Re:DayCare requires Loyalty (2)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 14 years ago | (#645746)

Yeah, but keep in mind this: the $200 gadget is a one-time, $200 per employee perq.

With child care, you need licensing, insurance, and you're paying tens of dollars per hour per child care worker, plus opening yourself up to MILLIONS in liability if something happens to little kimmie, plus "eating up" valuable office space. In certain markets (Seattle, Boston) where space is absolutely at a premium, it's like, "why not just hand out Palm Pilots instead?"

Theme of the day (2)

wemmick (22057) | more than 14 years ago | (#645747)

Two articles on slashdot about quality of life issues for programmers. First slashdot-izens cry foul on Philip Greenspun's view that techies should work 70+ hours, now we beg for on-site daycare.

What does this all mean?

Are slashdot-izens growing up?

Is slashdot reaching out for a new audience?

Are slashdot readers just feeling burnt out?

Is it just a Monday thing?

Or... is it all just a sign that today is the day to tell my office that my wife is pregnant?

Some Slashdotters seem like cavemen. (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 14 years ago | (#645748)

This whole topic has become a very good example of what is wrong with Slashdot. I am amazed but not surprised at the 1950s-throwback nature of the vast majority of posters here. "Have wifey stay at home" seems to be the solution everyone is proposing. Yeah, right. Even on coders' salaries that is usually impossible. Get your fsckn heads out of TV Land and get real.

Meanwhile, if you want a SERIOUS discussion of this issue, visit us at http://msgeek.org/ [msgeek.org] . All the content, half the grits, and none of that annoying testosterone aftertaste.

---- Hey Grrl Geeks! Your very own geek news site has arrived!

Daycare in the tech industry (1)

tryst1970 (157711) | more than 14 years ago | (#645749)

I've been working in the tech industry for 10 years now and not one employer has ever offered onsite daycare. The best of the employers offered a benefit called a flexible spending account. They remove the amount of money that you spend on daycare pre-tax, you have to tell them how much you want removed, then you save your receipts and request the money back from your flexible account. You can do this with medical expenses as well. Be careful though because you do not get this money back if you do not have the receipts for it. The company gets it if you don't spend it.
For the small companies that I work for I doubt that internal daycare is cost-effective but they could offer other benefits that would be helpful to the employee such as flexible spending accounts, daycare reimbursements, and telecommuting. Currently, it's up to each techie out there to bargain for their own benefits. There are no real incentives for the company to offer you these benefits other than what we all know...a happy employee works harder! If I don't have to worry about picking up my son from daycare on time because my daycare is right in the building where I work then my company is going to get more work out of me.
I think it's unrealistic to expect small companies to support any of their employees by having onsite daycare but we in the industry can certainly encourage them to offer realistic benefits that help maintain the family unit. I'm not really interested in staying home with my kids all the time. I love them but honestly believe that they need to have influence from other adults that I trust to love and care for them. Whether this is dad, grandma, teachers or daycare workers. It takes a whole community to raise healthy children. Good companies will recognize this and help to support it.

"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true."

Hell yes! (2)

Evernight (165829) | more than 14 years ago | (#645750)

I don't have kids, but if we had daycare here I'd bring them in off the streets! Hallelujah brothers!

The other day some kid asked me for a quarter at Chik-Fil-A. I was feeling generous, I gave them a buck.

Philantropy baby!

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (2)

deacent (32502) | more than 14 years ago | (#645751)

As a new parent, I have to disagree. Far be it from me to tell another parent how to raise his or her children, but I do use daycare and I feel it's the right choice for us. Here's some of the benefits that I perceive:

  • Her social and emotional well-being seem to be much healthier than my own.
  • We really need the break from each other. It's important that we lead our own lives. I found that while I was on maternity leave, we were developing an unhealthy dependence on each other.
  • When I am home, I spend the vast majority of my free time interacting with her, but I think we're spending more quality time together now.
  • Since I'm homebody and somewhat asocial, I know she's getting much richer experience out of the house.
  • I've also learned quite a bit from the people running the daycare that I may have had to discover the hard way.
  • I'm hoping that when my daughter is old enough to start kindergarten, she will already have at least one friend in her class.

My decision to use daycare was not an abdication of parental responsibility. It's a personal decision where in my case, the pros outweighed the cons. I view daycare as surrogate parents for your child. This means it's very important to find a place that has as little turn over as possible (daycare seems to have a high turnover rate to begin with) and to find people who will respect your wishes in caring for your child. It can be very difficult if not impossible to find such place. A corporate sponsored daycare may be convenient, but I'd only use it if I felt good about the people working there.


Re:DayCare requires Loyalty (2)

goliard (46585) | more than 14 years ago | (#645752)

The real question is this.....while we bicker about whether there is such a thing as a virtual community, can anyone even explain to me whether there is a REAL, non-abstracted techie community?

I am at firest inclinded say "it depends on your definition of 'community'", but really, the answer is "no" for all conceivable definitions.

Community is a localized phenomenon (this does not rule out virtual community, if you consider cyberspace a locality, as most geeks do). A bunch of people with something in common is merely a demographic, or a subculture at most. A community is a bunch of people which, at the very, absolute least interact (regularly, frequently, importantly). So for a non-virtual geek community to happen, you need (for starters) a physical population density of geeks which is quite high. That limits your choices to a very few places in the US (dunno about outside the US). I live in one of those places (Cambridge, MA).

But even if you have that population density, community is a way of interacting which most geeks are neither into nor very good at. For instance, geeks are much better at being loyal to a cause than to a group of people. For instance, geeks prefer not to have to initiate socializing. For instance, geeks don't like to have to deal with the piddling details of people's lives. For instance, geeks don't respect ritual or other social technologies. (All for most geeks; there are of course exceptions.)

But if you meant merely a self-aware subculture of techies, self-declaring as such and looking out for one another, well, geeks are really terrible about looking out for anyone (including themselves, but especially others).

So, well, no.

Yes--Employee Benefits DO Matter (2)

John Murdoch (102085) | more than 14 years ago | (#645753)


Any tech employer with a brain knows the numbers: unemployment (overall) is at an all-time low; tech unemployment is simply nonexistant (if you can spell "VB" in New York City you can get a job); and the situation isn't changing any time soon. When Burger King is advertising $7 an hour, plus health insurance and (I'm not making this up) a 401k plan you know the job market is tight. How do you find employees?

An interesting fact to remember is that employment statistics aren't what you think they are. The "unemployed" that count in the stats are people who have been employed that are now receiving unemployment benefits. If you've never had a full-time job, if you never filed for unemployment, or if your unemployment benefits have expired, you don't count in the stats. The people who count these things at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [stats.bls.govtargetblank] calculate the employment rate based on people presently working or collecting benefits.

There are tech workers out there...
There are tech workers to be found--and IMHO the largest cohort are skilled, experienced tech workers who'd love to pick up a job. They're moms who want to stay at home with their children, but still make the bucks you can make in the IT world. Those workers are generally much more sensitive to employee benefits than they are to salary--they're far more interested in working hours (and the limits to working hours) than they are in what they'll make per hour. If you create a workplace where telecommuting and bring-the-kids-on-a-snow-day are acceptable, employers can find a lot of talent.

That said, I'm not sure that SlashDot is the place to ask whether techs care about employee benefits. The SlashDot crowd has a heavy representation of young kids, in or just out of college, that is heavily male. IOW, very few Slashdotters are wondering about Mommy-track decisions, so your answers may not be that helpful. If you're contemplating a Mommy-track kind of career choice, yes--there are employers who are sensitive to your concerns. And trust me--as the economic expansion continues, there will be more of them.

'Slashdot assumption alert' (1)

moderate_this (231075) | more than 14 years ago | (#645754)

Why do you assume that *most* techies are single young males ? I would agree that *is* this typical viewpoint of most of the general public, but I have found that this is certainly not true in the average shop, with the possible exception of the .com startups (coder slave workforce :) Working with 'things technological' is not a new profession invented for the under 30's. That statement reminds me of that commercial for e-trade with the gen-x dude.

Re:Daycare in the tech industry (1)

kpeerless (122687) | more than 14 years ago | (#645755)

It really irritates me to think that I will have to pay more for my software or isp or a service because you have run out of ideas for perks. Why should I pay someone to look after your kids? I have four at home that I and my wife look after without your help.

Re:it may be frustrating (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 14 years ago | (#645756)

> daycare seems to work just fine for lots of kids, so why would it be different for techies?

Hey, throw a techie in front of a 21" monitor and give him a T1. If that ain't gonna get him gurgling with glee and keep him quiet and happy for the rest of the day, as well as give him an environment to learn something new, I don't know what will ;-)

Or were we talking about daycare for kids of techies, as opposed to techies themselves? (I always figured a job was basically daycare for geeks anyways, 'cept we get paid to attend!)

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 14 years ago | (#645757)

...and some people can afford to have kids, AND want to have a professional career. Not all of us feel that it is a wife's job to stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.


Controlled experimentation... (2)

rotor (82928) | more than 14 years ago | (#645758)

Haven't you seen the films of monkeys raised on wire cages with a bottle as a mom?

Now, was it the bottle as a mom, or was it the wire cages which caused them to be sociopaths? To have a truly effective experiment on this, you'd have to eliminate the wire cage and put them in their natural environment without a mom.

However, interaction with other childern is VERY important to a child's development. I'm planning on play dates for mine rather than daycare, but for some people daycare is the only choice they have.

Also, $25,000 a year should be able to more than cover a car (you don't have to buy new), wardrobe (if you have to have a new outfit for every day, get over yourself - my wardrobe costs me under $200 a year, and my wife's is probably about $500) and daycare. After taxes and things like gas to get back and forth and stuff, you should still have about $10,000 from that job. Not a whole lot, but you're definately not losing money. I just figured out that I'd have $8,000 from a $25,000 a year job if I had my more expensive car ($20,000), my wife's wardrobe (granted, this isn't stuff I'd wear =), and one child in daycare. You could go a LOT cheaper on that car, and a bit cheaper on the wardrobe too.


Re:So childless aren't discrimated against, eh? (1)

moderate_this (231075) | more than 14 years ago | (#645759)

good point, so will you be helping out the cause and signing off ?

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (2)

Sterling Anderson (235186) | more than 14 years ago | (#645760)

I always get a kick out pepole with your outlook.

Have you ever been to a "good" day care?

My daughter goes to day care for 2 main reasons:

First, as a family we cannot provide for her everything we want her to experience on a single income. Thus my wife and I both work.
Second, a properly run day care has professionals who are there to teach my daughter the things we cannot teach her at home. There are other children there as well. This helps her to become a social person. She learns to interact with her peers, something she cannot get at home with just her mother and I.

Take 2 children, one who stays at home with mom or dad all the time and one who interacts with their peers and you will see a major difference in how they interact. Try to imagine what you would be like if you spent 90% of your time with 1 or 2 other people who were a full generation removed from you. Now imagine those 1 or 2 people were completely responsible for the person you are to become. Kind of scary isn't it?

Re:Freelance, you'll have no regrets (1)

DeICQLady (150809) | more than 14 years ago | (#645761)

I would have to disagree... would history show us that companiies don't "wise up" unless a "bloody" revolution (figuratively) takes place? Flitting the word daycare about is by no means to point to what we have no... hell no. I mean why is it we have not pushed them to sweat and slave over the idea and offer us quality. (Quality being partly defined by the fact that you will have numerous choices about the matter.

I am sick and tired of seeing that no one has yet said, listen, your not just coming to work for us, your joining our family, and we'll take care of you. Yes... it sounds very naive... but I want it. Wouldn't you?

Re:In other words.. (1)

Sterling Anderson (235186) | more than 14 years ago | (#645762)

I find it funny that most people who make statements like that assume their spouse will be the one staying home with the kids.

It also seems most people who make these statements like to post anonymously; afraid your future spouse might be reading here as well?

Re:you are fooling yourself (4)

EricWright (16803) | more than 14 years ago | (#645763)

twitter babbled:
Very few women I know really like the "liberation" and "empowerment" of work. What double think.

Wow. I didn't know there were many Amish reading Slashdot. All of the childless women I know prefer working to sitting around at all day. Those women I know who do have kids have career aspirations, too. Staying at home for 5 years will kill any chance they have at a long, successful career in a field of their choosing.

When you have a child who ISN'T a rhesus monkey, then you can spout off about your experiences. In my experience, my son prefers being able to socialize with other children his age on (mostly) his own terms. He also is growing up without experiencing the stereotype that mothers should stay home popping out babies every year.


It would be nice.... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 14 years ago | (#645764)

...to hear a bunch of children playing down the hall in a company sponsored daycare center, rather than the sounds of the air hockey and ping pong table that my company got to keep the programmers happy.

No, I don't have kids, and no I am not married.

It would be so cool to be able to visit your kids during lunch. To eat with them and take them outside - come on that is the bomb!

It might inspire the more geeky programmers to comb their hair and find that special someone - and that would make them happier than a 1000 foozball tables ever could.

Re:Daycare in the tech industry (1)

mftuchman (66894) | more than 14 years ago | (#645765)

It really irritates me that I have to pay more for my products and services because the people who make them insist on living on more than bread and water.

I live my life perfectly as a robot, and If I don't need useful human services, well then, neither should you.


Re:you are fooling yourself (2)

deacent (32502) | more than 14 years ago | (#645766)

As rhesus monkey experiments show, infants need the security and comfort of a mother, not the "social interaction" of a daycare baby factory. Haven't you seen the films of monkeys raised on wire cages with a bottle as a mom? They grew up sociopaths because the world had never provided them warmth or security. What makes you think some overworked daycare "proffesional" is going to be able to provide any more love? Putting you child into one of these places where they are abandoned in a crib surrounded by the cries of all thier peers is just cruel.

I agree that is a cruel scenario but it is not the reality of the daycare that I use. The person that looks after my baby has only two others in her charge and regularly gives my daughter plenty of one-on-one interaction. I wouldn't leave her there if it were any other way. I have done surprise inspections, btw, so I know she really is getting this attention. Of course, there is also a lot of group play. Unfortunately, out of all of the daycare centers that I interviewed, this was the only one that offered this kind of attention.

Very few women I know really like the "liberation" and "empowerment" of work. What double think.

I won't pretend to know what most women like, but I personally feel the need to work. I'm just not the full-time mommy type. It's wrong to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do with regard to their children or their career. I love coding and I work in a great environment with fair compensation. My decision to go back work was a personal one, not based money as much as quality of life for my daughter as well as myself.


What the HECK is wrong with you people!?! (1)

Papa Legba (192550) | more than 14 years ago | (#645767)

I know this sounds like flame bait but hear me out. Several people have talked about how their companies are providing dog walking services for them while they sit inside and code......UM check your head people.
1. Why have a pet if you cannot take care of it?
2. Why is having someone else take care of the pet you do not have time for a GOOD thing?

A lot of people are saying "Ya I can work more now". You need to wake up, if you company is putting this kind of workload on you, then your are a sucker. Pay you a salary for 40 hours and make you work 80, you do realize that means per hour you make less than a Mc donalds worker right?

I think companies should provide day care for employees. Day care is a fact of life for most be it financial or that they see the benefits of sending kids to a SAFE and RELIABLE day care.The simple reason companies should provide day care is that several studies have shown that parents work better and faster if they are secure in knowing their kids are safe. If they can walk down the hall and check on them then they know this at all times. It's not just tech companies offerring this perk , and BTW for companies to do this in other countries IS COMMON!

So yes to day care, as long as your company is not using it as leverage tool to steal more of your life use it as a way to remove and excuse for leaving. "I have to go pick my kid up from daycare." Boss: "Why she is in the building...". Remember, after your 8 hours in a work day are up you do not have to make excsuses to leave, you leave because your workday is done and that is enough excuse. Do not make yourself a slave. Never bow to the power that boss that says "but why do you need to leave?" The answer should alwasy be "Cause I can" do not justify why you get to leave at the end of the day. It belittles you and makes you less human.

Remember the most powerfull word you posses is 'NO' use it and use it often. Tell them that bad planning on their part does not constitue an emergency on your part.

Day Care is a bad idea for corporations (2)

AppyPappy (64817) | more than 14 years ago | (#645768)

We studied this at Sara Lee and it was nixed immediately by upper management. Here's the problem: If there is a problem (molestation, death), the day care immediately becomes "The SARA LEE Daycare", no matter the actual name. This is even true if we were to use an existing day care. Not only would the press hurt the company and generally piss off the stockholders, it would make Sara Lee liable. We couldn't even recommend day cares. We did use an agency that recommended child care options.

This is called the "Exxon" factor after the Exxon Valdese incident.

if people were asking,.. (1)

ebbv (34786) | more than 14 years ago | (#645769)

for daycare so they could go fuck hookers and smoke crack i would say you are right.

but they want the daycare so they can both go earn money to support those children and pay for their college.

that's great you are happy with your child going to community college, driving a neon and eating ramen pride, but not everyone is so lay off.

now asking for government-sponsored daycare, that would be another thing,.. this is just asking for more compensation from (rich and greedy) companies.

Re:I'm single. Why should I pay for your day care? (5)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 14 years ago | (#645770)

> If you do not have children you do not participate in the daycare, just like if you already have health insurance you will not participate in the company's health insurance program.

Your analogy is flawed.

If I already have health insurance, I'm free to cancel it and take advantage of the employer-subsidized one. An investment opportunity is by definition open to all; I don't even have to cancel my existing brokerage account in order to take advantage of a 401(k).

Consequently, the benefits you mention available to all employees regardless of lifestyle choice. This does not apply to day care. Employers should not be in the business of subsidizing lifestyle choices.

Let me put it another way: Forgive me for putting words in your mouth, but I'd bet that if your employer said "we're gonna give all the childfrees, singles, and gay employees a $5000/year bonus because they don't jack up our group health premiums with pregnancy expenses and they never take [m|p]aternity leave", you'd be screaming blue murder that it was blatant discrimination based on a lifestyle choice.

And you'd be absolutely right to do so. Any company that pulled a stunt like that would be guilty of discrimination, and would deserve more than protest, it would deserve lawsuits.

So why do you consider it OK to discriminate against people who choose not to have kids?

Understand that I'm not arguing against provision of day care per se. I'm arguing against a company that provides day care to its breeding employees, but nothing to its non-breeding employees.

Got a problem with me being "childfree"? OK, what about a couple who desperately wants kids, but is infertile? Same thing applies.

Darn, you meant this as a joke? (1)

_N0EL (245472) | more than 14 years ago | (#645771)

Thought I had found a kindred soul. I love coding in the warm glow of my monitor and don't want anything messing with that.

Re:Daycare, no, $, yes! (2)

hurst (221158) | more than 14 years ago | (#645772)

Am I understanding this correctly? Or am I being a crumudgeon here?
"For those of us with a spouse/partner: "
Are you saying that people who have a partner should be paid more just because they're partner-ed?
They actually did this in the '50s. Married men were paid more than single men who did the same work. This rationale was also used to keep (single, of course) women's wages down too. Does anyone here think this is right?

Re:it may be frustrating (1)

JurriAlt137n (236883) | more than 14 years ago | (#645773)

You're either a troll or you have a Ph D in psychology. Anyway, you're telling us what we all know, the problem is applying it in practice...

Not all techies are young and single (1)

herwin (169154) | more than 14 years ago | (#645774)

There are a good many people in the IT industry who are responsible for children, either because they are single parents or they take that responsibility within the family. My experience is that this can be a significant hassle, both for the parent and the coworkers. Despite high-level company support for such programs as take-your-child-to-work, managers have to cope with the disruption. So, yes, child-care and other signs of a pro-family attitude are definite considerations in the choice of employer when you're older, more experienced and more mature.

Re:I'm single. Why should I pay for your day care? (1)

Cujo (19106) | more than 14 years ago | (#645775)

I certainly wouldn't demand that anyone else to paying for our daycare as an entitlement. It's not.

However, my lady has a demanding career that's important to her. We could afford for her to stay home, but that's a monstrous waste of her talents and training to sit around waiting for the baby to wake up and be fed or changed. Without a daycare facility at her place of work, she might seek out employment elsewhere (where they either pay more or have daycare, or both), and her critical contribution to her team would then be lost to them. So, it's to the benefit of her other team members that daycare (which costs us about $600/mo) is provided. Competent professional daycare does a child no harm.

BTW, Parenting is one of the best things you'll ever do. I'd start to think about how you're going to prepare for it while still young. And if you're male, don't expect a woman to shoulder all the burden for you.

Re:it may be frustrating (1)

Shiva Lingham (252101) | more than 14 years ago | (#645776)

This is the problem with these sorts of benefits in the high-tech industry specifically; that "techies" are usually introverted technology fetishists, with little interest in the benefits that most "normal" people want (family healthcare, daycare, INTELLIGENT investment options).

Companies can just throw a few bones to the majority, hardcore techies (high-risk stock options in lieu of payment, assorted hi tech gadgets, nerf toys) and ignore the majority, who actually need substantive benefits.

I found an interesting article he [psu.edu] re [goatse.cx] on the concept of USEFUL benefits in the hi-tech industry.

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (1)

Diana, Goddess Queen (234568) | more than 14 years ago | (#645777)

By giving your children, which are supposed to be the most important thing in your life, to daycare, you are explicitly opting out of taking parental responsibility.

That's ridiculous. You said that you'd let them 'start going to school'? It's essentially the same idea: your child is out of your immediate control for a period of time whilest spending time with other people who will impact his/her life. While you have control (to a degree) over which school your child will attend, you have 'opted out of your parenting responsibility' for that period of time. Beyond that, its the same level of control you have over choosing a daycare facility.

If corporate daycare is offered, employees have the flexibility to stop by and visit with their children [lunch breaks, etc.], and if there is an emergency, they are easily contacted. There is also going to be a more rigorously enforced standard of care, because valuable human capital will be on the line. As a result, as I see it, they aren't opting out of their parenting responsibilty; in my opinion, it seems like they're finding the most efficient, beneficial way to manage it.

Re:Some Slashdotters seem like cavemen. (1)

james_shoemaker (12459) | more than 14 years ago | (#645778)

This whole topic has become a very good example of what is wrong with Slashdot. I am amazed but not surprised at the 1950s-throwback nature of the vast majority of posters here. "Have wifey stay at home" seems to be the solution everyone is proposing. Yeah, right. Even on coders' salaries that is usually impossible. Get your fsckn heads out of TV Land and get real.

That choice (stay at home) is the one my wife decided on before ever consulting me, and I agree completely. If you can't make it on one tech salary then either reduce expenses or move to somewhere where the living is cheaper. Not that we have children yet, but when it happens she already planned on staying home to take care of them. If she was the breadwinner I would gladly stay home to care for them, but I make dramatically more than her earning potential.

Re:Damn straight. (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 14 years ago | (#645779)

Hell, my son is 2 and he just built a NASCAR out of Legos... And not some cheesy kit either, he just handed me a car and said, "Car vrum."

It didn't have wheels but it was clearly a car and it was clearly Mark Martin's.

Have strangers raise your kids??? (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 14 years ago | (#645780)

Is work so important that you'd rather have strangers raise your children? People who you don't know, who will likely teach unacceptable values (whatever your value system is), who get paid some relatively low amount, who could have personalities anywhere between Mother Theresa and Jeffery Dahlmer (and you won't know), and who are likely doing the work only because they need the money (like you)?

Far better is to provide full-blown telecommutting, letting one or both parents work from home, give the kids attention as needed, and teach a work ethic by example.

Beware of companies bearing gifts (2)

dodecahedron (231077) | more than 14 years ago | (#645781)

I knew a manager of a large and successful high-tech company. He told me that his company had a conscious strategy of bringing in pizzas late in the day so that their workers would stay around and put in more hours. They had a number of other perks like this, designed to keep their employees chained to the oars. They also had a policy of giving one-time bonuses and using them to guilt-trip employees who wanted actual pay raises. All-in-all, I'd rather have the money and provide my own benefits (although it certainly makes it attractive that some benefits like day-care aren't taxable). Ever since talking to him, I've been been inclined to look corporate gift-horses in the mouth.

I can buy daycare (1)

peccary (161168) | more than 14 years ago | (#645782)

I don't care about cell phones, computers, or even relo.
I can buy those if I want them, and I get to choose the color. If my employer buys me a pager, it won't be the cool beepwear wristwatch. If my employer buys me a cell phone, it'll be the cheapest model available, and I'll wind up replacing it out of my own pocket anyway, and then waste the company-provided phone.

I don't want any benefits I can just as easily go out and buy. Give me the cash, so I can choose for myself.

The kind of benefits I want are the things I can't buy for myself. For example, no matter how much I make, I can't just decide to buy a quiet office with a door and a window that opens, full-spectrum lighting, and a recliner for the afternoon nap.

Re:Some Slashdotters seem like cavemen. (1)

wendyk (18350) | more than 14 years ago | (#645783)

I am amazed but not surprised at the 1950s-throwback nature of the vast majority of posters here. "Have wifey stay at home" seems to be the solution everyone is proposing.
i think i'd have to agree with this. c'mon- i know that women programmers are few & far between (i've rarely ever worked in groups that have more than 2 of us) but we are around. i love my job, and i'm not about to give it up to stay home with children. at the same time, if i wanted children, i don't see how i could possibly make it work- i stay late every evening, when we're launching something i'm there every weekend. i think that issues like this are at least partially responsible for the small number of women in technical jobs. having onsite daycare isn't going to change that radically, but it would help.

Young? (1)

SuperHueMan (225678) | more than 14 years ago | (#645784)

I think the concept that 'techies' are young is a huge misnomer within our culture. I'd love to be offered daycare! Our industry is rapidly becoming just like all others in terms of age and experience.

Re:Watch for hypocrisy (2)

The Night Watchman (170430) | more than 14 years ago | (#645785)

I couldn't possibly agree more here... It seems as if "having children" has become a staple assumed-requirement of today's society, where people do it because it's what they're expected to do, when in reality, they have neither the resources nor the time to properly care for their children.

So many parents today have children, only to pawn them off to day care, soothing their conscience with an obligatory allocation of "quality time", until such time as their children reach school-age. From there, put the responsibility in the hands of the school teachers, who, by the way, are now under so many restrictions and regulations so that they can't so much as put a supporting hand on a kid's shoulder without being brought up in front of a committee. Then these kids grow up, and their parents wonder why the hell the kids never come home, why they hate their parents, and why they have such a hard time expressing any genuine emotion.

We're getting emotionally sterilized. Daycare is basically going through the motions of parenting, without all that excess "love, caring, support, and guidance" baggage. After all, if our basic survival needs are met, those other things are just a technicality anyway, right? So how does this connect back with IT jobs and daycare? Not directly, I suppose, my problem is more in daycare, and how so many people I know are so emotionally walled-up or bottled-up because their parents never provided them with any real emotional support, so now they don't even trust themselves, let alone anyone else.

Yes, this is a rant. I'm sorry. But this is something I feel strongly about. Daycare is not the problem, it's a symptom of the emotional detachment of our society. When I finish graduate school, settle down somewhere, assuming I get married (a shaky prospect at best), I wouldn't even consider having children unless I made DAMN sure that I could be there for them in every respect. I don't want a daycare nanny getting paid by the hour to watch my child's first steps, hear my child's first words, and do all the things I want to do with my children. A child is not a trophy to be bronzed, put up on a shelf, and left for someone else to polish now and then, a child is a lifetime investment. Maybe we should start treating them this way. If you can't invest, then don't have the kids! With six billion people in this world, I don't think we're in any danger of going extinct.

Finally, I would think that IT would be the perfect kind of job to have as a mother or father, because it allows the greatest potential for telecommuting. If I were to have children, this would be my way of making sure that I could be there for them. If that is not an acceptable possibility, then maybe having children isn't something I should be considering. Life is full of experiences, parenthood being one of them. It's not, however, the be-all and end-all of human existence. That having been said, I'll get off my soap box. Take care, and remember to tuck your kids in tonight. They like that.

/* Steve */

Re:Simple Solution: Stop Breeding! (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 14 years ago | (#645786)

Sorry, I forgot that *all* viewpoints that dissent from your narrowminded outlook on the world are modded down. If you disagree, or can provide any insight into angles that I have not considered, perhaps you should consider replying to my post as opposed to cowardly modding it down.


Re:Speak For Yourself, Young Man (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 14 years ago | (#645787)

I noticed that! "The majority of "techies" are still young, male and single" -- what, "techies" didn't exist before /.? I spent my first thirty-hour hacking session in front of a TRS-80 Model I, and there are a bunch of people out there coding who started before I did.

Re:An emphatic YES! (1)

big_groo (237634) | more than 14 years ago | (#645788)

You forgot Play-Doh. Mmmmm....play doh...sOOO salty...
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