Then, once a parent chooses the type of child care they’re looking for, they’ll likely want to take tours, speak with staff members, and more. It’s an incredibly time-consuming process.
The Benefits of On-site Child Care
This type of child care is offered right on an organization’s campus — and there are many benefits of on-site child care for both employees and employers.
For working parents, having their young child close by can offer peace of mind and make it easier to focus on work. And more focused employees leads to greater productivity for the organization.
Another benefit of on-site child care is flexibility for working parents. The “commute” to the center might be a three-minute walk, as opposed to a 40-minute drive — and that gives these employees more time in the office, instead of on the road. (Another benefit for employers!) The convenient location is also a huge benefit when a parent has to pick their child up early — and unexpectedly.
How Do Employers Provide On-site Child Care?
Some organizations have had on-site child care for ages — Patagonia, for example, started their child care program when two founders parked a trailer in front of the office so that they’d have a private place to nurse their infants. The on-site child care center, now known as the Great Pacific Child Development Center, grew alongside the company and now has the capacity for 100 children.
On-site child care operations are often outsourced to experts in the industry, like Bright Horizons. So instead of diverting resources to creating a curriculum; vetting, hiring, and training child care staff; and everything else required to operate an on-site child care center, organizations are able to offer their employees the benefits of professional child care without having to manage the day-to-day operations. Organizations can choose to attach the child care company’s name to their center name — or they can keep the name in line with their own brand (like Patagonia, mentioned above).
Types of On-Site Child Care ProgramsWhen an organization partners with a child care company to provide on-site child care, they can choose from a variety of program options. Depending on the local regulations, care for infants may begin as early as six weeks. Ideally, on-site child care centers should be able to care for infants whose parents are returning to work following family leave.
An on-site child care center may provide infant care, toddler care, preschool, and pre-K. And organizations that offer care from early infancy through school-age give their working parents an easy solution for early care and education — they won’t have to find an all-new program for the preschool or pre-k years.
In addition to caring for children until they go to kindergarten, an on-site child care center may also offer back-up care for school-age (and younger!) children. Back-up care covers gaps in child care that result from circumstances outside of a working parent’s control — caregiver sick days, after-school program cancellations, and more.