After her Friday round at the Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning & I-O, fifteen year Tour veteran and mother of two young children Laura Diaz talked briefly about the difficulties of being a working mom. Diaz confessed that as the 2014 season approached she wasn’t certain she wanted to play golf this year, that only a strong family support system and LPGA on-site day care make it possible to be a working mom. As a working mom myself, of two active boys now grown men, her comments and disclosures caught my eye and piqued my interest.
I’ve been aware that there are mothers on the Tour. Occasional information trickles out. I’ve followed Cristie Kerr’s motherhood as it’s emerged over the past few months, and I know that Juli Inkster and Judy Rankin successfully managed to balance motherhood and a pro golf career. Catriona Matthew has two daughters who are getting a bit resistant to traveling. I did not know that in 2013 there were a total of 25 Tour moms parenting 36 children, 13 of them infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The availability of child care on the Tour got a bit more interesting.
I began to dig and it didn’t take much work at all to discover that the LPGA began providing free child care for it working moms in 1999. The New York Times provided background on the LPGA Child Development Center that travels with the Tour. Permanent, trained staff are supplemented by local volunteers. The service is available to the Tour’s moms in exchange for their participation in two corporate outings per year with the Center’s sponsor. It’s a fabulous fringe benefit for the Tour’s moms, one that carries both financial and emotional advantages.
It’s not exactly a “normal” day care facility. The location is top secret and there are armed guards — tight security for the kids of moms who are also public figures.
And where does the LPGA put a Child Development Center that changes locations every week? Sometimes in a hotel, occasionally in a recreation center, like the local Y, once even in a museum. And with locations like Bahamas, Hawaii, and Singapore, some of the Center’s field trips can be wonderfully amazing!
For most working moms child care is their single biggest expense, sometime exceeding median annual rental costs in many states, gobbling up as much as 50% of the working mom’s wages. Among the 100 United States corporations Fortune identifies as “best companies to work for,” about a third provide on-site child care, and the cost to working parents ranges from a low of $130/month for one child (Publix) to a high of $680/month (USAA).
The LPGA Child Development Center is looking more and more like a terrific arrangement for the Tour’s working moms!