When Volunteer Service Manager, Ariel Torres, returned to work eight weeks after giving birth, baby Owen joined her, making him the fourth baby to participate in Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast’s Infant at Work Program.
Through this new program, employees who are new mothers, fathers, or legal guardians are allowed to bring their infant to work for up to six months. This, in turn, promotes a healthy work/life balance and honors the contribution that GSCCC employees makes to the council.
The new Infant at Work Program, established in August of 2021, is now in full swing with two infants at our Ventura headquarters, one at Camp Arnaz, and one “graduate.”
Torres says, “It has benefited us in more than one way, the biggest one is keeping him on our normal schedule without having to acclimate to a new one. Also, as a mother/parent we want to be there for all if not as many milestones as possible, so bringing him to work with me allows me to have those milestones and memories.”
Program Specialist, Kayla McKee, returned to the office with baby Jayde earlier this month and agrees saying that, “My experience with her has been good as a whole, there are definitely challenges but it’s very worth it.”
Meanwhile, our first Infant at Work Program participant and now graduate of the program, Sean Hatlee, continues to do well according to his mother and Director of Program, Lindsey Hatlee.
“This program shows that the council’s practices are what we encourage in our communities; supporting parent and infant bonding, parental well-being, healthy infant development, and breastfeeding,” said GSCCC CEO Tammie Helmuth. Parents have the opportunity to respond to their infant’s needs instantly, which will boost a baby’s cognitive development. Bonding is a process on its own, it is not something that occurs overnight, it must be nurtured and built up as time goes on. This program proves to be invaluable for both parents and infants alike.
Helmuth states: “as a female leadership organization, this program undoubtedly aligns with our mission as we know, and support, the value of parent and infant bonding during the earliest stages of life.” It goes without question that GSCCC is delighted to continue the new Infant at Work program in our workplace, and we look forward to welcoming more tiny Girl Scouts in the future.