Child Care for Working Families
Working parents need child care; back-up daycare can help. Employers nationwide have begun to offer company-sponsored back-up care for employees. Why? It solves family care needs, which, in turn, increases employee productivity and engagement.
Annually, the economy faces a $57 billion loss in revenue due to lost productivity and earnings. Finding daycare is a challenge for many employees – 32 percent of parents have trouble finding daycare. Finding affordable daycare is even more difficult – in 28 states, the average annual cost of center-based child care is more expensive than the average cost of public college tuition and fees.
When working parents can’t find the child care they need, they can’t make it to work – in fact, 30% of respondents report feeling like they have diminishing career opportunities because of the lack of child care options. Back-up daycare can help bridge child care gaps and make it easier for employees to focus on work, even when regular child care arrangements fall through.
Okay, So — What is Back Up Daycare?
Daycares close temporarily. Schools call snow days. Relatives who normally provide child care go out of town. Nannies have emergencies. And kids get sick! You never know what life might throw at you, and these child care crises can cause you to miss a day (or more) at work.
That’s where back-up daycare comes in.
But what is back up daycare? When a snag in your usual child care routine occurs, back-up daycare can help you find an alternative. It’s an employee benefit growing in popularity – and it benefits employers, too. Easily accessible, it’s an emergency service employees can take advantage of to cover gaps in their child’s care, instead of having to stay home and miss work.
Not only is back-up daycare an employee recruitment tool, it helps with retention and overall morale, too. Companies with back-up daycare benefits see a significantly higher employee retention rate for working parents and those who are expecting a baby.
You may be wondering, how does back up care work? This can vary by company, but back-up care programs usually include access to care for children, as well as adult and elder relatives.
Typically, you can call, visit a website, or use an app to reserve vetted, trained caregivers. Some programs offer care in child care centers, others offer in-home care, and some provide a combination of the two.
Will you have to pay? Maybe – it all depends on your employer’s benefit. You might have a back-up care copay; or, you might have access to a certain amount of back-up care requests per year.