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MCN in the News: Benefits of Providing Childcare for Farmworkers

MCNYesterday, Capital Press, an agricultural news weekly, published an article on the benefits of providing childcare for children of agricultural workers. This article highlights Protecting Children While Parents Work, MCN’s five-year collaboration with the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. The article covers some of our research that has been conducted to better understand the barriers to off-farm childcare and strategies for best practices.

The article underscores the wide support that we encounter when conducting our research; industry leaders, farmers, and farmworkers all agree that protecting children is not just good for families -- it’s good for business.

MCN“Of the employers, 73 percent said they thought child care would result in having workers available to work more hours, 68 percent said it would result in more workers, 57 percent said it would mean a more stable workforce, 57 percent said it [lessens] concern about child safety and 30 percent said it would decrease [possibility] of child labor occurring,” the article noted, reporting the results of an online survey of Washington State growers.  These findings are outlined in a report entitled, We’re All In! Working Together to Provide Services for Children Whose Parents Work in Agriculture.

The article notes another survey our project conducted with 71 growers located throughout the US. The findings of that survey echo previous results, with 40 percent of the growers saying they felt companies should pay more attention to child care and 53 percent stating that business associates and customers would be pleased if employers supported childcare for workers.

MCN“As we continue the project we are finding widespread interest in finding common ground among farmworkers parents, childcare providers, and industry leaders,” says Amy Liebman, MCN’s Environment and Occupational Health Director and co-director of the project. Nationwide, farmers and farmworkers strongly indicate that childcare programs like that at Redlands Christian Migrant Association are the right thing for families and a boon to the industry. 

Read the full text of the article here

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