Dear Mr. President:
Thanks for the opportunity to write you on an issue that is so very important to working parents. I am the Executive Director of Learning Centers Management LLC . My family and I own several child care centers in Maryland. We currently employ over 60 people, the overwhelmingly majority of whom are women. Most of our teachers earn less than $18 an hour.
I have been in the child care industry for over 15 years. I have also served on the Montgomery County Commission on Child Care. I support paid sick leave for the following reasons:
Employees – especially women – need the ability to earn paid sick leave. It is unreasonable to expect that employees will never get sick and for many workers losing a day’s pay is difficult. When our staff members come to work sick, they spread germs and risk getting children in our care sick. That is in part why our company offers paid sick leave. We now have several centers with over 60 employees but even when we just had one center with approximately 15 staff members we still offered paid sick leave. For me, this is a common sense issue.
The other problem I see is that sometimes parents bring sick children to daycare because they cannot afford to take time off to care for their children. This is very troublesome. It puts other children at risk of getting sick. Most daycares, including ours, have a policy that a child must be fever free for 24 hours without medication before they can return to school. It is very hard for families to respect this policy if they cannot earn paid sick leave to care for a child. If other companies offered paid sick leave, that would help solve this problem. Flu season is upon us, making it more apparent that paid sick leave is a public health issue as well.
Our country needs policies that do not punish people for acting responsibly by staying home when they are sick or when their children are sick. I urge you to please support a national sick days bill and I urge my Governor Hogan in Maryland to actively push for local paid sick leave legislation.
Mabrouka (“Mimi”) Hassanein
Executive Director Learning Centers Management LLC