Research Paper on Work and Child Care Arrangements

Activity Description:

Author: Catherine White Berheide, Skidmore College


This paper focuses on the child care problem. First, using the course readings and your previous interviews and/or new ones, you need to identify what the problem is. Second, using course readings and your previous interviews and/or new ones, you need to describe the range of solutions workers in the United States today use to meet their child care needs. Third, you need to develop a solution to the child care problem for your company. The company can be a real one, perhaps one you studied for your second paper or it could be a company for which one of the parents you interviewed works, or it could be a company of your own creation.


Begin the paper by drawing on the course readings (and interviews) to frame the childcare problem. Be sure to consider it from the point of view of the employees who are parents (or prospective parents) and from the point of view of your company.

Next, discuss what the data from the interviews as well as the data in the course readings tell us about contemporary child care arrangements. Be sure to consider the complexity of the problem- children of different ages, different times of year, different times of day, different health statuses, different numbers of parents, different income levels, etc.

Finally, develop a plan for your company to help its employees meet their childcare needs. Don’t limit yourself to just providing information about or money to provide paid child care as a solution. What about parental leaves, part-time or part-year jobs, flextime, etc.? Think as well about how to enable employees to take time off, whether an afternoon for a soccer game or several months to a year after the birth of a baby, to spend with their children without committing career suicide, as Sheila Wellington called it.

The paper should be five pages long (typed and double-spaced with normal margins and type font). Include a reference page listing any of the course readings referred to in the paper. Footnote (using the internal citation format) any direct quotations or paraphrasing. Be sure you cite the exact reading to which you are referring and not the editors of the book from which the reading comes.

Activity Source:

Adapted by Jane Case from Berheide, C.W. (2006). “Work, Family, and Organizations” Syllabus.