Saving Productivity: Child Care Goes from Idea to Open in Three Weeks

Preschool girl reading at a child care center

One of the biggest business lessons of the pandemic has been to adapt – and adapt fast. 

So when working parents at the Broad Institute – the MIT and Harvard biomedical and genomic research center that is also a large Covid-19 testing center – were sinking under the prospect of endless months without school or child care, leaders knew they had to do something in a hurry.  

A temporary child care solution went from idea to open in three weeks.   

Exactly how hungry were parents for help? “When sign-ups opened in June,” wrote CNN of the center for children ages infant to 7, “31 parents requested care within the first hour.”

"Having to Adjust to Working from Home with the Kids was not Trivial”

The Broad Institute isn’t alone. Conflicts between work and family are becoming legend for working parents, costing mothers and fathers an average of a full day of work each week. "Having to adjust to working from home with the kids was not trivial,” one Broad Institute working mother told CNN. “And it wasn't always easy to get decent stretches of efficient, uninterrupted work.”

And productivity is on the line, with many experts calling working parents – all 40+ million of them – a key to economic recovery. “Employers understand that their employees can't work productively at home and also care for their children at the same time,” our CEO Stephen Kramer told CNN, noting an uptick in employers looking at centers. “Some are looking for employees to return to the workplace, others are looking for ways to solve childcare needs while their employees are still remote,” he said. 

Happy Kids, Happy Parents

Like all Bright Horizons programs, the Broad Institute center follows enhanced safety protocols that have been used successfully at centers operated for healthcare providers around the country for months.   

Parents at the Broad Institute are understandably thrilled. And they’re not the only ones. A huge number of parents said their kids had been missing friends, the Broad Institute’s Chief People Officer Frances Taplett told CNN. “When they went to the [childcare center] they got to be with little people their own age for the day. 

"The mental health of children is really important to our community," she said. 

Read the whole story, here.

child doing art in classroom"

An Employer’s Guide to Managing a Successful Child Care Center

Whether you currently offer child care or are in the planning/consideration stages, download this guide to get best practices for minimizing risk and increasing education quality.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

August 6, 2020

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.