Family Friendly New Mexico is featuring award recipients that really stand out from the crowd. In June 2021, we interviewed Caroline Zamora, MA, Director of Community Relations and Development of Aprendamos Family of Services and celebrate their efforts in creating a family friendly workplace!
…we try our best to live our values and make decisions based on our values; We believe in families first.Caroline Zamora
Why have you decided to have family friendly workplace policies?
We take pride in being a Values-Based Organization. This means we try our best to live our values and make decisions based on our values; We believe in families first. We are dedicated to integrity, always. We are committed to the pursuit of excellence. We are committed to making a meaningful difference. We are shaping the future generation.
How do family friendly workplace policies contribute to your business success?
Our programs have grown organically over the years. Parents would ask us to provide services after their child aged out of a program or services weren’t offered in the community. What is lovely to hear is a family who makes a connection and strong bond with their therapist and, as their child ages out of a program, asks us to open a clinic so their child can continue receiving services from that therapist.
An important element of providing services for children and families is the relationships our team members build with them. Being a values-based organization, we make it a strategic priority to hire and retain our ‘A-Players.’ We understand that the work is essential and that our team members put a lot of care, compassion, and love into working with children and families. For our team members to be their best at work, we as an organization have to support them in building a solid foundation with those they go home to.
What are the most popular family friendly policies among your employees?
We want our team members who are parents to be great parents, to be present for parent-teacher meetings, music concerts, softball, and football games. We want our team members to be there for an aging parent and attend doctor’s appointments. We want new mothers and fathers to build healthy and secure attachments and bonds with their little ones. We also want our team members to take time to recharge their batteries. Self-care is essential. Our team members can’t give quality care to children, families, and the families they go home to if they are physically and emotionally drained. So, we encourage our team members to take care of their health.
Health means a lot to our organization. Either taking time to go to the gym, have regular healthcare check-ups, take yoga, meditate, ready our Health Matters Newsletter with tips and strategies for living a healthier life, and much more. We provide a robust healthcare plan with an Employee Assistance Program, work with local gyms and health studios to offer group membership opportunities, and encourage mindfulness. Each of our meetings begins with a mindful moment, so we can be present and aware of the work we are doing in that meeting.
What advice do you have for other businesses wanting to add family friendly policies?
One of our values is ‘We are shaping the future generation’. We know and hope the children we are working with today will be productive citizens in our communities. They will be our future teachers, doctors, our next workforce. The family friendly policies we implement today impact their family lives today and impact their future, our future. Aprendamos is proud to be a part of this positive impact. We also encourage other businesses to consider implementing family friendly policies.
How has COVID affected your business? What are your plans post COVID?
As an organization, we have chosen to make the COVID-19 vaccine a mandatory vaccine for our staff members. We serve children and medically fragile children, and our responsibility to do everything we can to keep them safe. One of the ways we can do this is by being sure our team members are vaccinated. This also has a more significant impact on our communities, in that we can begin to open stores, parks, restaurants and get back to a new normal.
Self-care is essential. Our team members can’t give quality care to children, families, and the families they go home to if they are physically and emotionally drained. So, we encourage our team members to take care of their health.Caroline Zamora
Aprendamos Family of Services has these Family Friendly Workplace Policies
- Paid personal leave
- Wellness programs
- Reasonable accommodations
- Flexible work scheduling
- Employer subsidized training/educational assistance
- Employer supported retirement/asset building available
Aprendamos Family of Services
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Industry: Early Education, Care, and Healthcare
Number of Employees: 220
Aprendamos Family of Services is made up of six programs under the Aprendamos Family of Services. Our services include Aprendamos Early Intervention, Cariño Home Visiting Program, Conscious Fathering Program, Esperanza Children’s Therapy, Mariposa Autism Service Center, and Alegria Family Counseling.