Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sick Kids?

Here's a splendid idea for a new business. Ill child care. But if you consider the price in the article, no one could afford it. Drop in ill child care is probably going to cost over and above what parents pay as "tuition" day care costs, so this is an add on expense. Visiting sitters would be the best. Considering a substitute teacher probably makes $50.00 to $75.00 per day for a 6:30 - 3:00 job, what could someone charge to do this?

Brighton pages Dr. Day Care
By Jim Totten

Livingston Michigan

Parents with a child that is too sick to go to school but not seriously ill face a challenge: What to do?

Stay home with their child and miss a day of work? Or try to find someone who will take care of their sick child, a challenge in itself. It's a problem faced by many families including the growing number of homes in which both parents hold down jobs.

Dr. Mo El-Fouly, a pediatrician, said he can resolve the problem with his pediatric observation center that he plans to open in October in Brighton. He said this facility for mildly ill children would be the first in the United States.

"The best place for a sick child is at home with one or both parents," El-Fouly admitted.

"Barring that, the second-best place would be with caring people and pediatricians."

Children would be kept in private or group observation rooms with glass walls and separate ventilation systems. Children with similar maladies would be kept in the same room. The cost would be $25 per hour, but it could be as low as $12.50 per hour with employer participation plans.

El-Fouly, who has been a pediatrician at the University of Michigan Brighton Health Center for 12 years, said his new idea will address the needs of dual-income, middle-income parents who need a place for their sick children. He said absenteeism is a growing problem in this country, and he has received a lot of support from patients' families for his new venture.

According to the National Association for Sick Child Daycare (NASCD), there is a huge, unmet need for sick child care. Each day, more than 350,000 children younger than 14 years of age are too sick to attend child care or school. It is estimated that working mothers are absent from their jobs from five to 29 days per year caring for ill children, and this has been estimated to cost employers between $2 billion and $12 billion annually.

El-Fouly said families will see his observation center as a "godsend."

He recalled an incident involving a friend who came to his office one day with his sick child. His friend, an attorney, had a big case that day, and his wife, also an attorney, was out of town on a business trip. El-Fouly said his friend pleaded with him to watch the child that day because he had no one to watch him, but the doctor had to turn him away.

The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and take up to 40 children ages 6 months to 16 years. He said the center will serve children with mild illnesses such as pinkeye, low-grade fever, mild asthma, fractured bones. Post-surgery patients would be welcomed, too.

The observation center would only be one facet of El-Fouly's new office, at 1021 Karl Greimel Drive in an industrial_commercial park west of the Brighton District Library. The office would offer pediatric services, counseling for children, gynecological services for teenagers and a gift_coffee shop. Three doctors and two nurse practitioners would work at the office.

El-Fouly said he picked Brighton because he doesn't believe there are enough pediatric services for the increasing number of young families moving to the area.

He said there's a four-month wait for teenage gynecological appointments in the area.

The new office would be next to Advanced Urgent Care & Walk-in Clinic, which opened last month. El-Fouly said the two offices would complement each other, with Urgent Care handling more serious injuries and his office handling mild sicknesses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most people won't use these programs due to the high cost. I was fortunate when my sons were small I could take a day or more off work and use vacation time or personal time. But I had been at my job for 9 years when my first child was born. And I had a State job which allowed workers to use time as I mentioned. I didn't ask the grandparents to stay with the kids as I wanted to be with them when they were sick. One year I missed 12 days of work but it usually was less in other years.