Washington State has launched a pilot program that allows new parents to bring their infants to work. Parents are defined as mothers or fathers of the baby, as well as legal guardians that are not technically a parent for the child but look after it nonetheless.
The project, dubbed “Infant-at-Work Program Policy”, was launched this past June by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. It enables parents to pack the bags of young babies with an age of six (6) weeks to six (6) months and bring them to the office when they start their work day. This is also the age prior to the crawling phase in an infant’s life.
And parents have reported that the Infant-at-Work program has been of great help to them. Erica Stineman is a communications consultant for the Traffic Safety Commission in Washington, and a first time mom. She gave a statement saying that she brings her daughter, four (4) month old Lydia, to the office three (3) days a week.
She went on to add that she was very excited when she found out that she would not have to take her child to day care after only eight (8) of taking care of her due to maternity leave ending. Ms. Stineman stressed that these extra few months spent with Lydia have meant the world to her.
Washington state officials explained the program by announcing that several studies have shown how allowing infants to remain with their parents is this early state of life lends itself to developing a critical bond between the two, making sure the infant’s brain develops properly, making sure the parents are at ease, and allowing mothers to keep breastfeeding their babies, a practice which has been proved to improve the child’s lifelong health.
As for how this affects Ms. Stineman’s colleagues, Chris Madill gave a statement explaining that it’s been a welcoming change. Having a baby in the office has boosted morale and improved productivity.
As of right now, Infant-at-Work is a pilot program that only benefits the office workers of the Traffic Safety Commission in Washington, which has a total of 22 employees.
The program is based on a similar one launched earlier this year by Washington’s Department of Health.
Interestingly enough, major private companies such as Netflix, Microsoft, Adobe and Virgin Airlines are going the opposite direction – they’re offering longer maternity and paternity leaves.
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