But how does back-up care work? And, first things first, what is back-up daycare? What is back-up child care? Can back-up care be used for other family members, too? Take a look at our breakdown of back-up care below.
Back-Up Child Care: What Is It?Child care is more essential to working parents than ever before. Families need child care to make it to work; they need to work in order to maintain financial security. However, even with the best laid child care plans, parents are bound to encounter scheduling hiccups, last-minute caregiver cancellations, and more. Enter: back-up care.
Back-up child care fills the gaps when regular child care plans fall through. When your kids have a snow day or school holiday, your go-to sitter is busy, or your caregiver cancels, back-up care can help.
Every employer-sponsored back-up care program is different — you might have access to in-home care, center-based care at daycare centers, or both. This is different than drop-in care; a drop-in daycare center is typically used outside of the work day, while back-up care is designed to help parents make it to work.
Other Types of Back-Up CareBack-up child care is just one part of this helpful benefit. Your back-up care program might also include back-up care for adult and elder loved ones — in your home or theirs. Plus, you might be able to take advantage of back-up care for yourself, post-surgery, after having a baby, and more.
How Does Back-Up Care Work?The way back-up care works depends on your employer’s program.
Generally, you’ll have a phone number to call or a website or app to visit in order to request care. You’ll specify the date(s) and time(s) you need care, and the program/provider will take it from there.
Whether you’re using back-up care in child care centers or daycare centers or back-up care in your own home, you’ll have to fill out paperwork or online forms prior to care, and you’ll likely receive information about what to expect/what your child will need for the day.
Your employer might offer a certain number of annual back-up care uses to each employee; others offer back-up care for a low copay.
No matter what type of back-up care program you have, this benefit can save a lot of stress.
Back-Up Care Backs EmployersChild care gaps that cause stress for employees also cause a loss in business productivity for employers. Every year, revenue is lost from absenteeism and productivity declines due to these gaps.
So, how does back-up care work for employers? Employers that offer back-up care programs typically have a lower turnover rate, higher retention, and stronger employee loyalty. When employees are productive, engaged, and less stressed about family care, employers reap the benefits, too.
A Growing Concern for MillennialsMillennials will represent 75% of the entire global workforce by 2025. Many of them are parents; others are caring for their aging family members. Some are doing both — and they don’t want to be forced to choose between family care and their careers.
According to Pew Research, over 50% of working parents find it difficult to find a work-life balance. The majority of Millennials are more than willing to give up a high-paying job for a job that prioritizes providing employees with a healthy work-life balance, according to a survey from Fidelity.
If you’re a working parent or caregiver, seek out employers that offer back-up care benefits; if you’re an employer, consider adding a back-up care program to your employee benefits package. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.