The joy and benefits of babies in the office - SC First Steps

The joy and benefits of babies in the office

Kate Roach has a new and adorable office mate – her four-month-old baby, Anna! As the Early Care and Education Team Lead at South Carolina First Steps, Kate is the most recent team member to participate in our agency’s "infants in the workplace" policy, which allows parents to bring their newborns to work for up to six months.

"Bringing Anna to work has been a great experience," Kate says. "It allows me to bond with my baby while continuing to contribute at work." And that sentiment is shared by the entire team. Babies in the office bring a sense of joy and positivity that can boost morale and productivity.

But the benefits of this policy go beyond just the joy of having babies around. Studies have shown that a child's development is significantly affected by their parents' work lives. When parents have supportive workplaces, they tend to be less stressed and more nurturing with their infants. This has long-term implications for a child’s health and development.

Infants in the workplace are one of many ways that employers can support working parents and their children. Last May, Governor Henry McMaster signed S. 11 into law, providing six weeks of paid leave to eligible state employees after the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. Thanks to this new policy, Kate was able to take six weeks of paid parental leave when Anna was born in January.

"Those first few weeks are really critical for bonding with your baby," Kate notes. "Being able to take paid time off to be with Anna helped me to feel supported and valued as a working parent.”

Decades of research tell us that a strong bond between children and their caregivers is crucial for healthy childhood development, and the first few months are especially important for establishing this bond. This is why policies like paid parental leave and infants in the workplace are so beneficial.

By providing a supportive work environment that gives parents the time and flexibility to bond with their children, South Carolina First Steps is setting a strong foundation for our own team’s families – and a strong example for other employers. We're proud to be a leader in family-supportive practices and hope to see more workplaces embrace policies that help working families thrive.

Are you interested in implementing an infants in the workplace policy? Please reach out to our HR team. We're happy to share details about our policy.

Topics: Parenting, 2Gen, Equity

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