As Americans went to the polls on November 6, working parents had an added decision to make: who is going to watch their school-aged children?
School systems across U.S. close on Election Day every year, in large part because many schools are used as primary polling places. This forces hundreds of thousands of working parents to take the day off from work, either as a paid vacation or sick day, or as unpaid time-off, in order to care for their school-aged children. However, some leading employers have anticipated this scenario and offer their employees a solution to this conundrum.
Georgia-based WellStar Health Systems is one of those companies. On Election Day, WellStar employees had the option to bring their school-aged children to a licensed childcare center, or opt to have a licensed childcare provider come to their home, for just a small co-payment. Care was provided by Bright Horizons’ Back-Up Care Advantage Program (BUCA). The back-up care benefit is available to all employees at WellStar, and can be used on any day of the year (not just Election Day) whenever there is a breakdown in an employee’s dependent care situation.
By offering benefits such as back-up dependent care, WellStar was recognized as one of the 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies, according to Working Mother Magazine.
This year, more than 1,750 of employees utilized the Back-Up Care Advantage program for care on November 6, for dependents of all ages, from newborn to adult.