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Be a Family Friendly Business

How your business can help families

Businesses can help employees deal with the potentially conflicting demands of work and home by becoming a "family-friendly business," looking beyond the benefits traditionally provided to the workforce. Begin by identifying the needs of working families and the available resources. Help your community to ensure that quality childcare, elder care and health care are available. Involve your employees in the creation of workplace policies and programs.

Businesses that want to thrive in the next decade should look for simple, economically feasible ways to support employees struggling to balance the responsibilities of both work and family. The success of your business could depend on your ability to meet the challenges of dealing with this important issue.

5 Reasons To Be A "Family/Child-Friendly" business...

  1. Get the best from your employees with a flexible
    workplace that enables employees to take care of
    their family and get work done.
  2. Employees stay longer with employers who
    support their needs as parents.
  3. Avoid business costs due to work absences.
  4. Customers with children feel more comfortable
    in child-friendly environments.
  5. Positive early experiences help prevent future
    problems (such as crime and remedial education).

Through the Whole Child Connection families can:

  • Have access to services such as health care, housing, child care, parenting education, child health insurance, and activities for children
  • Complete a Profile in English or Spanish
  • Receive a print out list of the services of their choice to meet their individual needs
  • Receive assistance from a Whole Child Advisor to design a Plan
How to Create a Child-
Friendly Business
Atmosphere Employment Practices Attitude

Accessibility

Does your business have easy access for strollers including ramps, automatic doors and door holders? Is there adequate and safe parking with designated spots for customers with small children?

Physical amenities

Is your business designed in such a way that customers with small children can find a quiet place to rest or breastfeed babies? Do you have a washroom that is suitable and available for small children and changing tables for infants?

Play space

Do you have a safe, designated play area for small children that is stocked with clean and cared-for materials? Have you considered the needs of small children (booster seats, high chairs, small play furniture)?

Flexibility

Does your business support the use of flex time, job sharing, paid time off, banked time and break time for employees to manage family obligations?

Advocate

Are you aware of and support government policies that support parents of young children? What do you know about national and municipal policies around child care, employment standards and parental benefits?

Benefits

Do your employees understand and use benefits such as parental sick leave, parental leave, additional maternity leave and progressive returns after maternity leave?

Marketing

Do you regularly consider the needs of local families in your business plans and marketing efforts?

Support of children's
programs

Do you or your staff volunteer with a local children's program - either on the board of directors or during fundraising efforts? Have you considered financial and in-kind donations to local programs?

Customer service

Do you encourage staff to acknowledge children in a welcoming friendly manner? Do you have a process in place where customers can provide you with feedback?

Human resource personnel have found the Whole Child resources valuable in their work with families. If you would like us to contact your business and gain access the provider side of the Whole Child Connection please contact us at: pat.johnson@mymanatee.org

The Whole Child Manatee chairs the Asset Building Coalition of Manatee. This group is comprised of businesses, non-profits,faith-based and government. They have been providing free tax preparation for the past three years and are currently working on several initiatives to assist families in building their assets through financial literacy, IDA's and the free tax program. If you are interested in more information about this valuable service for your employees contact: pat.johnson@mymanatee.org