Maryland Out of School Time

Commitment to After School Programs is Good Business for Maryland

How human resources can play a key role in the future of working parents

 

By Eddie Velosa

 

It has been proven that workforce development and employee wellness programs contribute to the overall success and growth of businesses, where the role of human resources continues to be increasingly vital to achieving a strong work/life balance. It is a role that was once just about managing employee development and has evolved into a critical leadership capacity responsible for the wellbeing and personal development of an entire workforce.

 

Significant strides in company-wide strategies have seen many savvy executives place a greater emphasis on developing new ways to cultivate employee productivity and workplace satisfaction. And a direct correlation has been made between the work/life balance of working parents and employee performance[1].

 

Certainly, much of working parents' emotional wellness rests on the wellbeing of their own children during the summer months and after school hours. Families struggling to find affordable after school programs in their community face a major dilemma referred to as the 3PM Gap — the hours from 3 to 6 p.m. when 21% of Maryland's elementary school children go unsupervised[2], making it extremely difficult for parents to focus and stay engaged at work, resulting in reduced productivity.

 

This poses a significant problem for employers, specifically human resources whose chief job has always been to ensure peace of mind for its employees. But with its heightened role becoming more prevalent at the executive level, the ball is in their court to bridge the 3PM Gap and reverse a rising trend.

 

By igniting a rally call for Maryland businesses to come together in support of accessible after school programs, human resources executives are committing to improving the work-life balance by reducing on-the-job stress for working parents.

 

Statistics show that 84% of Maryland's parents support public funding for after school programs, while 87% are satisfied with the program their child is enrolled in. Currently, there are more than 280,000 Maryland children not participating in after-school programs because only 16% have access to programs in their area.[3]

 

And if corporate Maryland wants to take an active human interest in its employees, then it must empower human resources to ensure the full welfare of working parents, especially women, who make up 49% of the state's workforce and two-thirds of all family caregivers.[4]

 

For parents, placement in an after school program means not having to be overly concerned with their child's care during the afternoon hours when they still need to produce results at work. Approximately 64% of parents who have children enrolled in after school programs say they have achieved peace of mind and increased productivity at work, while an extra 5% admit that after-school programs have enabled them to keep their jobs.[5]

 

The broader influence of chief human resources officers in today's workplace offers hope for Maryland's working parents desperately seeking more affordable extracurricular after school programs for their school-aged children. But a collective voice is key to communicating to state and local legislators that these programs are an investment in working families that directly impacts employee development and helps stimulate statewide economic growth.

 

Help support initiatives like the MY3PM Campaign, powered by the Maryland Out of School Time Network (MOST)[6] and aimed at raising awareness among the business community to increase after school programs across the state — making sure that working parents never have to worry about the 3PM Gap again. Become a MOST Ambassador and invest in Maryland's future workforce. All Ambassadors will be invited to join Maryland lawmakers at an annual summit to discuss solutions for increasing after school opportunities throughout the state.

 

 

 

 

Learn More about participating as a MY3PM Business Partner and serving as a MOST Ambassador.

 

Information For News Media and Policy Makers

 

Find an Afterschool Program in your Community

 

Learn More about MY3PM for Parents

 

Sources


[1]The Washington Post: Career Coach: Work-Life Balance? Does your company care? It should. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-business/wp/2015/08/28/career-coach-work-life-balance-does-your-company-care-it-should/

[2]Afterschool Alliance: America After 3PM http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/AA3PM/detail.html#s/MD/demand/p_of_children_in_programs_2014

[3]Afterschool Alliance: America After 3PM http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/AA3PM/detail.html#s/MD/demand/p_of_children_in_programs_2014

[4]Maryland Dept. of Labor: https://mwejobs.maryland.gov/admin/gsipub/htmlarea/uploads/Whos%20Working%20in%20Maryland%20An%20Overview%20of%20the%20States%20Private%20Sector%20Workforce.pdf

[5]Afterschool Alliance: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/policyStateFacts.cfm?state_abbr=MD

[6]Maryland Out of School Time Network (MOST) Initiatives: http://mdoutofschooltime.org/initiatives