« Yvonne Jackson offers advice on overcommitment | Main | Facebook at work? »

Martin Luther King Day - a money loser for parents

As the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Day, I wonder...did the great leader ever brainstorm solutions for the struggles of working parents? Surely, Dr. King witnessed how hard parents of all ethnic and racial backgrounds work to get their kids a good education, raise them to be upstanding citizens and still earn a living. I bet he has some great ideas.

But years after his tragedy, as the nation mourns his death, most parents will be expected to report to work today, or lose pay. 

Today, too many kids will spend the day home alone. Some will get into trouble. Some won't. Parents who worry, will put their kids into programs or hire someone to watch them. Unfortunately, free childcare is nearly nonexistent. Many parents will pay more in childcare today than they earn.

I know I'm one of the lucky ones who work from home. I can keep my kids in sight and still earn a living. But I have incredible empathy for those who don't have that flexiblity.

My dream is that one day, kids can spend a school holiday in reliable government-funded programs or even better, corporate-sponsored programs that keep kids out of trouble, keep parents out of the red, and allow both to celebrate this special day.