Corporate Child Care: The Case for Employers to Act

corporate child care

The case for corporate child care just got a much-deserved boost in the news. Slate's in-depth analysis, including an interview with our own Executive Chairman Dave Lissy, considered the urgency of child care for parents and society ("one of the biggest costs and sources of stress for most American working families,"), the shortage of supply, and the fact that the government and corporate sectors both have critical roles to play.

"If you look at child care funding as a three-legged stool," Dave told Slate about parents, the government, and employers, "we've pretty much pushed what a parent can afford to pay as much as I think is possible." Equally important, he noted, the cap on assistance plans remains stuck at its 1980s cap of $5,000. With only 7% of companies currently offering on-site care, "The opportunity for expansion," said Dave, "is on the government and employer side."

What Employers Have to Gain

Data make a clear case for what employers have to gain. Among the points cited by Slate:

  • Nearly half of working parents miss an average of four days of work at least once every six months because of child care breakdowns
  • Those absences cost U.S. businesses about $4.4 billion a year in lost productivity
Equally important are the upsides in things like recruitment and productivity, all illustrated by working parents themselves. One Alston & Bird lawyer told Slate he chose to work for the firm precisely because it offered on-site child care -- and that was when he didn't even have a child!or a spouse. Now that he has a daughter, lawyer Aaron Block said the benefits are paying off for his family and his job. "During the day, I can be more productive and focused at work because I know that she's in a place where she's safe, where she's happy," he told Slate. "Because ultimately that's why I'm working hard." We'd like to send a shout out to Alston & Bird, Home Depot (both referenced by Slate) and the rest of our clients on the leading edge of the child care conversation.

Read the whole article, here.

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.