Momsrising articulated my fury at our Governor's / President's call for people to stay home when they are sick without creating a paid sick leave law. Schools are planning to close for up to a week if the Swine Flu hits, but what are parents going to do? The intersection of recession and flu calls for public policy response and offering everyone paid sick leave is the very least we can do.
Jody Heymann writes about what happens in poor families when parents need to work and can not find or afford childcare -- children are left home alone at younger and younger ages, or are left in the care of other children, or are left with elders who might also need care. (Her book, Forgotten Families, is a must read!)
A fact sheet by Heymann
The Chicago Sun Times and US News and World Reports have articles about this particular dilemma
MomsRising offers easy activism at the national level and the Maine Women's Lobby is working on paid sick days for the state.
In this emergency, however, we might need emergency measures if we really want children and parents to stay home if they are sick, and we don't want to cause a secondary public health crisis by leaving young children home alone.