Solving Google's childcare crisis, the Microsoft way

Google cofounder Sergey Brin has explained his company's childcare fiasco thusly: It's an experiment in economics. And yet there's very little that's scientific about Google's approach to childcare, which has been to hand Susan Wojcicki, Brin's sister-in-law, a blank check, and then accuse parents of feeling entitled when the result comes in with sky-high costs. Raising the price well above market rates was the only way, Brin argued in meeting with parents, to reduce a long waitlist. Gosh, how can a large software company fairly handle childcare benefits? If Google weren't so determined to do things differently — wild ono and adzuki beans for lunch! Stanford grads with 3.5 GPAs as instructors! — it might look to Microsoft's example. The software giant offers employees 20 percent discounts on childcare from a number of providers — and its executives are smart enough to realize that they know how to write code, not take care of infants.