KHOU 11 News reports Laura Browder had no choice but to bring her children (ages 2 and 6 years old) to a job interview. Having just moved to the Houston, Texas, area, Browder claims she did not have enough time to make proper child care arrangements. Hoping to land a position that would help her family, she made the decision to take the job interview — located in a food court, though the position itself wasn't in the mall — and place her children at an adjacent table. This enabled Laura to keep watch of her kids while she met with her potential employer.
"My children weren't even 30 yards away from me. I fed them and sat there with them until it was time to meet with my interviewer," Laura says in a statement. Within moments of ending her interview and receiving a job offer, a police officer arrested her. Authorities claim someone called to report children crying and left unattended, which Browder vehemently denies.
It might be easy to point the finger at this mother, but many can find themselves in a similar situation considering last-minute child care is not always easy to obtain. The cost of child care in this country is on the rise, with the average cost of raising a kid just over $240,000. The National Women's Law Center reveals that 55 percent of single parents experience long-term unemployment. Single mothers in particular are at a greater economical risk given that women earn less than men.
It doesn't sound like this mother had ill intent, but that she did her best to keep her children in plain view — instead of outdoors or in a hot car. Thankfully they weren't harmed in any way, though one would have to assume a parent would excuse themselves from the interview to tend to their kids.
Whether or not you have a strong community of loved ones nearby, it's probably a good idea to identify resources — like day care facilities that charge by the hour and emergency care options — that will hopefully make any abrupt changes in your schedule more manageable. You can also speak to an agent at your local workforce development office about resources that can help make child care both affordable and more accessible.
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