Traverse City, Michigan is implementing a pilot program that lets government employees bring their babies to work instead of placing them in daycare. So far, only one baby is participating, and so far everything is working out well. Four-month-old Emma has been accompanying her mom to work and has been loving it.
The city manager of Traverse City Marty Colburn is fully in support of this change. He shared, "Well, we have great talent here and the fact of the matter is we don’t want to lose them." That is the kind of support needed in the workplace for mom, dads, and all families.
In order to qualify to come to work, babies must be between six weeks and six months old. Right now, Emma is in that sweet stage of cuddles, feedings, and being pretty chill.
She is in the office three days a week. There are some rules in place for the program. Obviously some departments can' t allow this. The departments that work outside the building or more manual jobs would be impossible
This department is administration so its lowkey, inside, and safe. Employees must be full time and in good standing with their position Each parent is only allowed one infant. Also, two of your co-workers must agree to care for your baby for up to 90 minutes in case the parent cannot. For instance, during a phone call or an important meeting.
Emma's mother, Christine Wood is a human resource specialist with the city and this new policy allowed her to return to work six weeks earlier then expected. According to Woods, her coworkers are all very supportive. She told local UpNorth Live that she'll get emails asking if she needs help or just offering to come give cuddles throughout the day
This new program not only been beneficial for Emma and her mom, but Colburn mentioned that morale has been lifted in the whole office. Babies have that magical effect of making things better.
Wouldn't this be a great program to have everywhere? Babies six months and younger aren't yet mobile. This would be great for so many working moms to maintain breastfeeding and just being able to spend quality with their baby is priceless.