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Learn More About Back-up Care

Back-up care programs are helping companies ensure that disruptions in the lives of their employees don’t lead to lost billable hours, missed meetings, and drops in productivity. When school closes, a child is sick, or an elderly relative has an emergency, employer-sponsored back-up child care can help prevent employees from having to take unplanned time off.

Bright Horizons offers a leading turnkey back-up care solution that provides both center-based care and in-home care, providing employees with the flexibility to choose care that best meet their needs.

The value of back-up care

Many employees today are caring not only for young children but for aging parents as well. And because caring for these family members often includes emergencies and unforeseen events that require time during the workday, employees are frequently forced to skip client meetings, miss deadlines, or sacrifice billable hours in order to attend to the needs of their dependents.

The average employee faces a number of dependent care issues each year, including:

  • School vacations and educator professional days
  • Illness of a child, spouse, or parent
  • Snow/weather delays and cancellations
  • Emergencies related to elderly relatives
  • Sick leave or vacation time for nannies and other care providers
  • Scheduling conflicts for a stay-at-home spouse, including doctors’ appointments or jury duty

One of the faster-growing employee benefit trendsback-up care programs can dependably fill in to provide care during these situations, helping to resolve issues with employee absenteeism and loss of productivity. 

But the right program must do much more than simply provide employees with a list of numbers to call when they need care. A superior back-up care program must offer access to an extensive network of centers and caregivers at a moment’s notice, sourcing options on the employee’s behalf and performing background checks and vetting on potential caregivers. And most importantly, the right back-up daycare or elder care solution must instill confidence in employees that their loved ones will be safe and well-cared for during their care experience.

Back-up care solutions from Bright Horizons

Bright Horizons back-up care can quickly solve child and elder care gaps to help keep employees from missing work. When employees have a breakdown in their normal care arrangements, they can call a Bright Horizons contact center 24/7 to speak with a care consultant who will research all viable options to find the best solution. Bright Horizons takes care of all the details – time spent by the employee is limited to the initial phone call. By leveraging our expertise in education and dependent care, we are able to successfully find solutions for employees that work on multiple levels.

Bright Horizons back-up care solutions provide:

  • Center-based care that provides high-quality care when and where employees need it. Bright Horizons center-based care includes more than 3,500 high-quality centers nationwide that provide consistent and high-quality family care when needed.
  • In-home care at virtually any location, provided by caregivers from Bright Horizons and other top-rated providers from hundreds of partner agencies that have been vetted, onboarded, and trained. In-home care provides employees with the peace of mind and the support they need at critical moments when they’re torn between meeting work deadlines or caring for a child, a parent, or a spouse.

Benefits for employers and worker

  • With back-up care from Bright Horizons, your organization can:

  • Ensure business continuity during unpredictable events such as school closings, teacher strikes, and events in your employees’ lives that would otherwise cause them to miss work.
  • Enjoy complete back-up care coverage with one of the largest networks of vetted caregivers.
  • Enhance recruitment and retention by demonstrating loyalty to working families.

For employees, the back-up care advantage includes:

  • Peace of mind from knowing they can find high-quality care when emergencies happen and regular plans fall through.
  • Affordable back-up care that won’t cause financial stress.
  • Career support, enabling employees to take on more responsibility at work without worrying about their ability to care for children, parents, and spouses.

Additional solutions for employers

Bright Horizons additional programs for employers include:

  • Onsite child care that provides high-quality child care and early education for children of employees, improving recruitment and enhancing retention.
  • Elder care that provides access to services for employees caring for an aging parent or relative.
  • College coaching, supporting parents in the complex and taxing process of preparing a child for applying to college.
  • Special needs services, providing working parents with the resources to help children succeed academically and beyond.
  • Additional support for working families that includes assistance with family, pet care, or household responsibilities, enabling employees to more effectively deliver on their goals at work.
  • Workforce consulting that helps to build a sustainable talent pipeline and that identifies and removes obstacles in the workplace environment that can hinder performance.
  • Tuition EdAssist solutions, a powerful recruitment, retention, and talent development program that includes a tuition reimbursement program and provides education coaching, discounts at educational institutions, access to higher education for employees, and help with student loan repayment.

FAQs on Back-Up Care

What is back-up care?

Back-up care enables employees to secure the care they need during working hours for children, elderly relatives, or other family members when there is an emergency or when regular plans fall through.

What are the benefits of back-up care for employers?

For employers, back-up care helps to prevent absenteeism and to keep employees focused on their work by providing high-quality care for family members. As a sought-after benefit, back-up care also helps to improve recruitment and retention of top talent.

What are the benefits of back-up care for working families?

For employees who are caring for children, parents, or spouses, back-up care relieves the stress of being torn between the needs of the family and obligations at work. Back-up care enables workers to quickly find high-quality care for family members when emergencies happen or when regular plans fall through, enabling employees to continue to meet their goals at work.


Family care benefits have never been more important. See how Bright Horizons can support your team.

Bright Horizons offers more than a traditional daycare. It helps parents looking for education-based Boston daycare, NYC daycare, Chicago daycare, Washington, DC daycare, Los Angeles daycare, San Francisco daycare, Seattle daycare and local daycares in other cities. It also provides back-up daycare and elder care, employer-sponsored child care, employer tuition assistance, workforce education, and student loan repayment programs. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters is located in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.