Debunking 6 Myths About Corporate Child Care

Two employees with baby

Earlier this year, Slate explained why employers should be concerned about child care.

One big reason: the $4.4 billion lost annually to employees’ daycare issues.

That debunks the biggest myth about child care that it’s just a personal problem.

Here are five others.

Moms are just going to opt out anyway

The myth of the mom who plans to opt out is just that – a myth. Many who decamp only do so because child care becomes untenable. “Women told us that they wanted a career for their own personal fulfillment,” organizational consultant Jodi Detjen told us about her unequivocal research on the subject. “It’s so hard for people to believe because of these good old assumptions.”

Dads aren’t worried about it

Read any corporate child care articles lately? Many like this article, and this one lead off with dads. That’s because dads are active parents too. And they’re increasingly worried about things like work-life balance and child care – many telling Working Mother and our Modern Family Index that they’d change jobs just to find it.

It’s only for working parents

Providing corporate child care says more than, “We’re parent friendly.” It says, “We’re work-life friendly.” And employees are listening. In one survey we conducted, more than half of respondents said they factored child care into their job decision – and they did that before they even had children. Plus, today's successful working mothers and fathers show tomorrow's how it's done and that working and parenting at your organization is possible.

Child care’s easy to find anyway

Here’s a fun fact: More than half of Americans live in a child care desert. According to Slate, that means “there are either no licensed child care providers for children under the age of five or there is less than one slot in a licensed child care center for every three children under the age of five.” And that translates to parents who leave work (see, opting out because child care is untenable, above).

It becomes irrelevant when the kids start preschool

Not if you’re doing it right. Carefully planned corporate child care and early education does both not only taking on parents’ two challenges; but also providing one familiar place for children from birth all the way until they’re ready for kindergarten. Five years of child care. Can you say – retention?

If the myths don’t convince you, the ROI should. There’s a reason companies like Sam’s Club are breaking ground on new centers.

“One of the biggest reasons employers see a return on early child care education,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Abby Kills told Slate, “is their employees can come to work and they don’t have to worry about child care.

“That return on investment to the employer was a big eye opener.”

And that’s no myth.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

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.