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Kid Cavalry

Employees are fighting a home-front battle with sick kids and lousy child care . . . and you can help.

This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you have employees with children, then you have employees who occasionally need to find backup child care if their children are sick or their regular providers are unavailable. And too often, their only known option is to stay home, leaving you to deal with the problems their absence creates. What can you do to be supportive of working parents and still meet the needs of your business? Cathy Leibow, president of FamilyCare Inc., a work/life benefits company in Pleasanton, California, offers these suggestions:

Be flexible. If adhering to a rigid on-site schedule isn't essential to getting the job done, allowing some flex-ibility in working hours, temporary telecommuting and making up missed time goes a long way toward building loyalty, mutual respect and motivation, says Leibow. Don't force employees to lie and say they're ill when in fact they're dealing with sick youngsters or child-care problems.

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