Case Teaching Resources
FROM THE EVANS SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Box 353060 · University of Washington · Seattle WA
DAYCARE COMES TO NORTHVILLE
Northville, a medium-sized city in the midwestern part of the United States, has experienced a significant change in the composition of its municipal work force of 1,800 employees. Approximately thirty-five percent of the city employees are now female. In a recent survey of city employees, over forty percent have said that "affordable daycare for children" was important to them. Meanwhile Director of the Office of Personnel Mary Lux has become increasingly convinced that the lack of affordable daycare is one of the main reasons for absenteeism and lateness among city employees. Mayor Petula Spark, some of the members of the city council, and the leader of the major city employees' union, Denardo Legato, all agree that something should be done. The question they are trying to answer is, what should it be? Mayor Spark is in favor of doing something, in principle, but she is not in favor of incurring a major new expense, given the many legitimate claims on the city's already strained budget. She has told Legato, who is negotiating the daycare program on behalf of the city employees, "We’ll give you space and utilities for a year at no cost. It is up to you to come up with a suitable daycare center that conforms to state and federal law." Several regulatory mandates and non-discrimination laws fall into this category. The only requirements specific to daycare centers are that (a) they be licensed and inspected once a year, (b) all new daycare workers take part in a three day state-certified training program and (c) the child/daycare giver ratio be no greater than 8 to 1. The annual inspection fee is $500. The total cost of the three-day training program is estimated to be $200 per employee. Mary Lux is responsible for planning the details of the daycare program for the children of city employees. With Mr. Legato's approval, Ms. Lux has negotiated an arrangement with a local non-profit agency that is already providing daycare services in the Northville metropolitan area. Tiny Tots, Inc. has three locations; the contract with the City of Northville would be a fourth center. The Director of Tiny Tots, Klara Nemet, is enthusiastic about the prospects of a new center specifically for city employees. While discussing the proposed arrangements with Ms. Lux, Ms. Nemet said, "We will not need This exercise is provided to The Electronic Hallway subscribers with the express permission of the authors, Associate Professor William Duncombe andJeffrey Straussman, Maxwell Professor of Teaching Excellence, at The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. This is a peer reviewed exercise, published in The Electronic Hallway Journal (http://www.hallway.org/journal/) Vol. 1, 2000. The Electronic Hallway is administered by the University of Washington's Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. This material may not be altered or copied without written permission from The Electronic Hallway. For permission, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (206) 616-8777. Electronic Hallway members are granted copy permission for educational purposes per the Member’s Agreement (www.hallway.org). Copyright 2000 The Electronic Hallway
any additional administrative staff, since Ms. Perfekt, my administrative secretary, and I could certainly handle the additional administrative work." Ms. Perfekt earns $1,300 a month. Ms. Nemet's salary is $2,400 a month. Tiny Tots, Inc. also must pay 7.15 percent of their salaries in the form of a social security contribution, 8 percent for unemployment and disability benefits; 6 percent of salaries goes to a pension fund, and $60 per month for health benefits is paid for each of them. These fringe benefits apply to all employees of Tiny Tots, Inc. The additional details of the...