What do you do with your children when you work the second shift from 4 p.m. to midnight? If a spouse or a relative can't look after the kids, you look for a child care center that is open at these hours. But evening and night child care centers are so rare that some companies have begun stepping in and offering child care.
A quarter of a mile from the DaimlerChrysler's Huntsville, Alabama Electronics plant, evening and day shift workers can drop off their children at the Child Development Center, a benefit to workers provided by the National Training Center, which is jointly operated by the United Auto Workers and DaimlerChrysler.
Workers can be assured that their children are doing more than just tuning into a cartoon TV show. In fact, this is not your typical babysitting operation. Children are learning foreign languages, logging onto computers, and enjoying art and music classes.
Leslie Bozeman, who assembles electronics boards at the DaimlerChrysler's Huntsville, Alabama Electronics plant, takes her four-year-old daughter, Anna, to the Huntsville Child Development Center. "It is so close and accessible I can go and check on her anytime," Bozeman says. "I feel it is preparing her for kindergarten and beyond."
The center is open to infants as young as six weeks and children up to six-years-old. Special before-school, after-school, and summer programs for elementary school children are available as well.
Closed circuit televisions allow parents to monitor their kids, without disturbing classes, from the lobby of the Child Development Center.
Bozeman does not like to think about what she would do if the Child Development Center were not there. "It is such a struggle finding a place to leave your child that you feel comfortable with. I feel as comfortable leaving her there as I would with a family member."
In addition, help in finding high quality child care is available to all UAW-DaimlerChrysler workers, regardless of where they live and work, through the NTC's Resource and Referral Program. The program covers a range of services including options for varying schedules, in-home care, and special needs children.
To find out more about the UAW/Daimler-Chrysler National Training Center, which oversees 30 programs at five regional training centers and 52 plant facilities around the country, visit http://www.uaw-chrysler-ntc.org