What is Back-Up Child Care?

When employees’ regular child care arrangements fall through, they need a back-up plan. Organizations that provide back-up care benefits make life easier for working parents and families — and this can be a major employee recruitment and retention tool.

But what is back-up child care? What does it entail, and how does it work? Let’s take a closer look.

Teacher reading a book to an infant

What is Back-Up Child Care, Exactly? 

Back-up child care provides a reliable care solution when working families are in a pinch and their regular child care is unavailable. It has quickly become an essential employer-sponsored benefit. Why? It gives employees a safety net whenever they need care — so, instead of having to skip work and stay home with their child, they can find care to fill the gaps without missing a beat.  

All back-up child care programs are different. But in many cases, back-up child care might be offered at an on-site center at work — or at a center nearby. Or, it might be provided through in-home caregivers.  

How Does Back-Up Care Work? 

Most employer-sponsored back-up child care programs offer the option to schedule care over the phone or online — or even on an app.  

Bright Horizons Back-Up Care™, for example, has a 24-hour call center staffed with experienced consultants and easy online booking to help employees arrange the best possible care for their children. One call or a couple of clicks — that’s all it takes for employees to find care they can trust.  

The Benefits of Back-Up Child Care  

In today’s workplace, employees with children need back-up care more than ever. When regular care plans fall through, many employees have no choice but to miss work. And that means absenteeism and lost productivity. 

In the U.S. alone, organizations lose over $33.6 billion annually due to lost productivity from care-related absenteeism. Giving employees the family support they need helps them keep their head in the game and provides the peace of mind they need to focus on work.  

And not only do employers benefit from the higher productivity, but they also see lower employee turnover. Additionally, employees with access to back-up care are happier and less stressed!  


What is back-up child care? 

Back-up child care is a service that provides care when regular care arrangements fall through and parents have to work. For example, back-up child care could be used when there’s a holiday or snow day at school.  

What is Bright Horizons? 

Bright Horizons is the leading provider of child care and early education, with 1,100+ centers across the globe. We partner with employers to provide benefits that their employees need — including back-up care, elder care, workforce education solutions, and more.  

How does Bright Horizons Back-Up Care work? 

Organizations nationwide provide Bright Horizons Back-Up Care as a benefit for their employees. Once employees are registered, they can request care online or by phone whenever the need arises: school closes unexpectedly for a snow day, they have to work during their child’s school break or holiday, or their elderly relative needs help post-surgery. No matter the situation, we help working families find care and keep them from having to scramble to book a last-minute caregiver or, worse, miss work.  
mother holding child

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Bright Horizons is a United States–based child-care provider and is the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care. Employees looking to become a child care teacher are offered the opportunity to earn an early education degree for free as part of their corporate benefits. Search by zip to find a child care center near you. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters are in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.