Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some Company Child Care Expanding into Saturdays

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some Company Child Care Expanding into Saturdays

Article excerpt

With the busy tax and audit season approaching, Big Six accounting firm Ernst & Young is expanding its child care program to accommodate employees who work Saturdays.

"A lot of children had been coming to the office on Saturday with Daddy anyway," explained Rosemarie Meschi, the firm's director of human resource services. "They would sit in the office and bang on the computer. Gradually, the child got cranky and bored and started disrupting the office."

Realizing that many of its 20,000 employees caught in the overtime work crunch needed extra help with their children, the firm tried out a free child care pilot program last year at six of its 100 offices. The idea caught on and more than 300 employees are now toting their children to designated centers in 40 cities.

Some of the sites are child-proofed conference rooms in the firm's offices. Others are in nearby day care centers selected for Ernst & Young by The Partnership Group, Lansdale, Pa.-based national resource company that specializes in child and elder care.

"It's a great help for professionals," said Mort Meyerson, the firm's public communications director. "A professional firm must meet the tax deadlines of its clients for tax compliance and annual reports."

"If you want to have a career as a professional, there's much to do in the busy season and you have to prepare for this," he asserted.

"We don't want people to work every Saturday, but we know there's a concentrated period when they have to serve their clients. It's to everybody's advantage," Meschi added.

With the day care boost, the human resources expert said, the firm's people "come in and get more done, and they don't resent working as much. The alternative is that the stress might force them to give up their professional careers."

Another benefit she sees is that fathers who do not work for E&Y get Saturdays off from child-sitting chores when their wives take the children with them to day care. …

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