There is a large untapped labor pool that – if someone can figure out how to access it – would provide a significant amount of skilled labor to the marketplace. This set of people has a broad range of skills from software development to professional writing. Some individuals in this mysterious category excel at art, music, or storytelling. The one thing they have in common – a child with a medical condition whose care would cost more than they could earn working.
I recommend employers take a look at this community of people and sincerely evaluate whether or not they can put them to work. They will be part-time employees unless paid more than childcare costs for their child’s unique needs. Some of them may need to make enough, even part time, to replace what they get through state assistance in addition to funding their childcare needs. It won’t be easy or straightforward – but it’ll be worth it.
- Finding Skilled Labor – Sometimes you can’t find a good candidate, no matter how much you pay them. This category is a new place to look.
- Less On-Site Space – Most of the medical parents would rather be at home, even while working, to be available in the event of an emergency. This approach significantly reduces the cost of childcare for the parent since the caregiver doesn’t have to be skilled in all eventualities – just capable of handling everyday tasks.
- Off Hours Work – If possible these parents would prefer to put in time during off hours and avoid paying childcare. This method reduces the peak load on your infrastructure and minimizes the number of floating licenses you’ll need to maintain.
- If removed from their child by too much distance they won’t be able to focus on their work.
- May need paid a higher wage than the industry standard to be willing to leave their child with another caregiver.
- Will be least able to work during the regular 9a-5p shift, when clients are available. Most communication with them will likely be in writing.
Currently, the government supports these families if they’re unable to help themselves. I’m convinced there is a free market solution – it just hasn’t been discovered yet. If you need skilled labor and are willing to provide flexible hours and remote work opportunities then please – share these opportunities with the medical parent community. I’m happy to list you myself, or you can contact Chronic Illness Bloggers, and they’ll work with you as well. Chronic Illness Bloggers is a network I’m a small part of that includes medical moms as well as a wide range of adults with different chronic illnesses.
Despite the stereotypes, many of the people in this community and on government assistance in general, want to work. They just need to be able to make enough money to support themselves and maintain or improve their standard of living. Medical moms and those with chronic illness have barriers to overcome to do that, and they’re entirely surmountable. They just need help finding an employer who is willing and able to provide that additional flexibility.