LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the launch of a program Tuesday to allow state employees to bring their children to work.
The governor was joined by Department of Human Services Secretary Kristi Putnam in announcing the Families at Work program. The governor said the program would begin at DHS with plans for it to be in place across all state agencies.
The program will allow parents to bring children into the office with their supervisor’s permission. Putnam broke the program down into two tiers affecting parents.
The first is for parents or caregivers of infants under 6 months old who will be allowed to bring their babies to work and keep them by their desks. Putnam said this would enable a better bonding experience and better breastfeeding schedules.
Putnam used her experience as a new mother in Florida as an example of the benefits. Her supervisor allowed her to bring her newborn daughter to work, she said, and in turn she could work while bonding with her daughter during a critical life phase.
The second phase is called Kids at Work for older children. Parents of older children will be able to bring their children to work when schools are closed or daycares are unavailable. Children will be able to use separate play and study spaces at DHS while there with their parents.
Putnam said that DHS would set up play and study spaces at all DHS offices over time. She also stressed that bringing children to work would not be viable for all employees.
DHS was also in the process of updating its remote work policies, Putnam said.