A little more than three months after I came back from maternity leave, our nanny starting having severe morning sickness, and it became clear we needed to find an alternative daycare solution for our son.  I had been at Cisco for nine years, and knew that we had two different daycare centers in San Jose, but hadn’t really visited them. I had signed up for back-up daycare, but hadn’t planned on bringing our son there until he was over a year old.  One morning, on a day when my husband was gone before dawn, and I had a day full of meetings, our nanny called in sick.

In a sheer panic, I got online and found my contact at Cisco daycare, who quickly replied back that I should bring our son in, no problem.  Before he was born, I never would have considered myself a panicky mother; it turns out I am!  I emailed my manager and told her what was happening and that I may be late to a meeting. Her response was, “Don’t worry. Take care of your son first.”

Many places of employment may not be so understanding when situations like this arise. They may think it’s, “not their problem.” But that just isn’t the case here at Cisco. Not only do they care about their employees, but they ensure that we know our families do come first.

As I pulled into the building with my son and walked through the daycare doors for the first time, we were greeted so warmly, and made to feel very much at ease.  We stopped to sign him in, and I filled out my paperwork to gain access to our Video Surveillance Operations Manager (VSOM) system.  His first classroom ‘Peek-a-Moo’, couldn’t have been a better place for him!  His teachers were simply amazing and so loving to both of us!

Throughout that first day I got a few phone calls to tell me how he was doing and to reassure me that he was just fine. This took a weight off my shoulders – imagine! Most mothers are worried, scared, or sad to leave their baby at daycare – and they have time to prepare! On our very first, unexpected day, my son’s teachers were a driving force in keeping us both cool, calm, and collected.

He started out in an infant room, and stayed in that room for about 3 months.  He then moved into the toddler room, this is where he really started to shine! Not only is he learning different languages, but he’s also experiencing different sensory activities that allow him to experience the world in a whole new way.  The best part about having the daycare right on campus is that I can log into VSOM and see what is happening in his classroom whenever I want!  For me, there’s no need to stress or worry – I know he’s in good hands, and I can quickly check in any time that I’d like.

It’s now been a year since my son first started, and since that time he has come home countless times covered in paint, cornstarch, coffee grounds and loads and loads of dirt! He takes Mandarin, Spanish and art classes and enjoys a cuisine that is more sophisticated than I could imagine! Being able to check in on him throughout the day and have him close by is a blessing I could have never imagined.  Working at a company that not only provides an option for daycare, but lets me use our technology to stay connected and close – this really empowers me to be my best mom AND employee every day!

I love that we have this benefit and it makes me love my company even more than ever before as it truly speaks to the heart of our people deal and the core of our culture, #WeAreCisco.


Want to join a company that can help look after our littlest Cisconians? We’re hiring!


Tara Fortier

Senior Manager, IT