The White House says President Obama signed a presidential memo "directing agencies to allow federal workers to take six weeks of advanced paid sick leave to care for a new child, ill family members, and for other sick leave-eligible uses."
The White House elaborates, "This will allow mothers the opportunity to recuperate after child birth, even if they have not yet accrued enough sick leave and without forcing them to use their accrued vacation leave. It will also allow spouses and partners to care for mothers during their recuperation periods and will allow both parents to attend proceedings relating to the adoption of a child. Advanced annual leave is to be made available to employees for placement of a foster child in their home. Finally, the Presidential Memorandum directs agencies to consider a benefit some agencies already offer—help finding, and in some cases providing, emergency backup care for children, seniors, and adults with disabilities that parents can use when they need to go to work but their regular care is not available. Some agencies provide this benefit through their Employee Assistance Program, and it can help parents with a temporary need for safe care for their children."