NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) — The Chips and Child Care in America’s Heartland report was released by the Action for Children group this month.

It lays out a 20-page plan for manufacturing companies like Intel and its construction partners to consider if they want to qualify for maximum funds from the Chips and Sciences Act.

Some of the suggestions in the report are as follows:

  • Find out what families in the area can afford to spend per child. (The agency says national recommendations say families shouldn’t spend more than 7% of your income on childcare.)
  • Provide support for all workers no matter how much they make or their position. 
  • Consider getting creative with shift work.

Flexible scheduling is something Christine Marsey could have benefited from after returning to work after the pandemic. “When school started back up again I had lost my morning care so I had to go into work an hour to an hour and a half late so that I could get my son on the bus at that point,”  said Christine Marsey, a mother and IBEW electrician.

The report plainly says it will take investments in on-site and off-site childcare options to keep the machine running. Eric Karolak of Action for Children says giving workers diverse childcare options will help diversify the workforce and take something off of their plates.

“For women in construction in particular and other underrepresented groups it may also mean revealing something that looks like a weakness but that everybody is dealing with and so reluctance to be able to say that look I’ve got this issue that’s a really issue that working families must deal with I need some flexibility or I need some support in dealing with it and is a daunting thing for a single worker to do,” said Eric Karolak, CEO of Action for Children.

Karolak says his organization has worked hard to get the framework in the hands of Intel leaders and that they’ve been contacted by several construction companies looking to get support. Marsey suggests an overhaul of the childcare system as a whole and before or after school programs to start.

“We’re going to have to start looking at our work days and mornings as more of a whole and a whole community and I don’t think there’s an easy solution. And that’s the problem. What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for my neighbor who works at a bank,” said Marsey.