Bright Horizons CEO on Boston Chronicle: “Employers are Going to Have to Lean Into Child Care”

Children at back-up care at a Bright Horizons center

Office reopenings have a lot of employers asking whether their employees will show up. 

A bigger worry is – can they? 

“It does raise some interesting issues around child care,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told a recent edition of Boston Chronicle about bringing parents back to work.

The October 13th Chronicle dug deep into the increasingly urgent issue of child care -- one that’s hamstringing a third of the workforce and threatening exits of a key population that currently has few options for kids. Speaking from one of our newest centers, our own CEO Stephen Kramer talked about challenges for working parents, options for answering, and what it will take to overcome an issue that was already thorny before the pandemic, and that has been exacerbated in its wake.

“Employees,” he said, “are more outspoken than they’ve ever been before about the challenges that they’re facing.”  

Stephen talked specifically about back-up care – an exceptionally flexible approach that’s been a lifesaver during the pandemic, and that many companies continue to turn to. 

“Back-up child care is really focused on when an employee has a breakdown in care arrangements, they have the opportunity to bring their child to a Bright Horizons center, or we can send a caregiver to their home, depending on what their need is, and the age of their child.”

But as the economy reopens, back-up will be just one part of the answer. Most parents need a more permanent option, with three-in-four telling our Modern Family Index they’re feeling increased pressures around care for their children. It’s especially important now, in the age of the Great Resignation, when employers are competing for every person on the payroll, and employees are gravitating to jobs that give them what they need.

“Enlightened employers,” said Stephen, “recognize that in order to have a loyal, productive workforce, they’re going to have to lean into child care as part of their offerings.”

Watch the full story, here.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

October 14, 2021

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.