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WSDOT program allows parents to bring infants to work

The Washington State Department of Transportation's Infant at Work program allows some workers to bring their babies to work starting at six weeks old, until the child turns 6 months old. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - The State Department of Transportation is implementing a program that helps new parents return to work, while spending time with their newborn.

The agency's Infant at Work program allows some workers to bring their babies to work starting at six weeks old, until the child turns 6 months old.

"I bring her once a week. I work four tens, so I have her 10 hours," said WSDOT transportation engineer Tim Weise, who brings his 6-month old daughter Grace to work. "She stays asleep for a while, when she wakes up I feed her."

The program's director said it offers a better work-life balance for employees, improves morale and cuts down on employee leave time.

"So, it allows that productivity to being at sooner rate, versus having to continue to try to find people to back-fill the work while the parent is out of the workplace bonding with their child," said Amber Erdahl, a WSDOT Human Resources Manager.

Nigel Neaves brings his 3-month-old daughter to work twice a month and said it makes the most financial sense for his family.

"I definitely chose to do this. It's more affordable to do this and my wife only works two days a week, than to do daycare," said Neaves.

The program was formally adopted this month after a one year trial run.

So far, WSDOT said 18 parents are participating in the program.


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