Nampa firm lets moms bring their kids to work



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 5:00 PM

Moms & kids love it!

NAMPA -- At an accounting office in Nampa - babies are just a part of doing business.

"We had several women who had babies at the same time so we got them together to show this was our staff and these are all the babies that we had, it was quite a busy office!" said Jeniele Rowley.

The parents who work at Merrick and Rowley Accounting are encouraged to bypass daycare, and bring their kids to work!

It's an unusual concept, but the two women who run the firm say it just makes sense.

But what about productivity? Are kids in the office a distraction?

This Treasure Valley business is making bringing babies to work just another part of the job.

Krista O'Dell just had a baby boy...

"It's my 4th, 4th baby. Andrew Johnny O'Dell, and we're going to call him AJ," said O'Dell.

And she's planning to take some well-deserved maternity leave from her job doing payroll.

"I'll be able to take as much time as I need, that's one of the benefits of where I work," said O'Dell.

Another benefit of where she works -- when she's ready, she can bring her new baby to work with her.

"My bosses are the most amazing women," said O'Dell.

"We're not doing brain surgery here, there's no reason why the children can't be with their mothers," said LaFonda Merrick.

LaFonda Merrick and Jeniele Rowley have their own philosophy when it comes to workand family.

We hope for a good balance, we don't think people should have to choose, we don't want them to choose," said Rowley.

As soon as you walk in the door of this accounting firm, you spot a mom and baby at the front desk.

Employee Emily Call says she couldn't be happier on the job.

"Because I get to be with my daughter," said Call.

She feels she has the best of both worlds.

"To work and be able to take care of my family financially, but still be a mom," said Call.

It's not always easy. Emily says sometimes baby takes priority, sometimes businesshas to come first.

"So it's not a perfect system but it's the best system if you want to be with your family. Sometimes it's a distraction, but I'm not certain that it's not a necessary distraction. Family is the most important thing," said Merrick.

"It's just so normal and natural," said Rowley.

It's not uncommon to see kids wandering the halls and in offices, or even behind a desk! They're all over the place.

"A client came in and said how young do you hire these kids?" said Merrick.

And if mom or dad has an important meeting, they can drop their kids off in the kids' room.

"We do have a full-time daycare employee, but my preference is that the children stay with their mother until they are at least one year old or walking," said Merrick.

The working parents at Merrick and Rowley also save big time on daycare costs.

"They pay for daycare here, what is it a dollar a day?" said Rowley.

"They pay for the kids' food," said Merrick.

"I have two and one on the way," said Gracie Delhoyo.

Gracie Delhoyo has worked here for five years. Her third baby is due in July.

"It's just very nice to know that I can have this one and bring them back when I'm ready," said Delhoyo.

"I find that my employees are very dedicated."

"It may take them a little longer to get something done, it always gets done and they are happy and the kids are happy."

"I love having Ella here," said Rowley

Jeniele has four kids, Ella is her youngest. She likes coming to work with mom.

"Cuz it's awesome," said Ella.

"They understand there are certain boundaries, and there are things they can't do because they are at work," said Rowley.

"The work absolutely gets done, we're very productive," said Merrick.

"Being able to work and still being a full time mom I think is one of the best benefits of being able to work where I work," said O'Dell.

Krista just had her baby, but she's already looking forward to going back to work with new baby AJ in tow.

"Why would you want to leave a place that values your family as much as you value your family? You don't have to choose," said O'Dell.

Krista says she'll probably take four weeks off and get back to work.

Merrick & Rowley says it rarely has openings, because the employees don't seem to want to leave, but admits this way of doing business doesn't work for everyone.