Return to Work Programs for Moms

Working mothers are dealing with new challenges to emotional well-being that make working life difficult. The first few months back at work are a critical time during which new moms decide whether returning to their career is feasible.

A growing number of female workers are changing jobs or stepping away from their careers altogether after having a child. While many of these women want to find a way to balance family and work, without the support of their company, they don’t see a path forward. As women today are often postponing motherhood until their 30s, companies are losing higher-level employees who are the costliest to replace, and it’s hurting their efforts to support female leadership.

FAQs: What companies ask about return to work programs for moms

What are return-to-work programs for moms?

Return-to-work programs for moms are employer-sponsored benefit programs that provide the child care and structured support new mothers need plan for maternity leave and returning to work after adding a baby to their families. 

How do return-to-work programs benefit employees?

For employees, return-to-work programs provide valuable benefits like corporate child care, back-up care and daycare tuition subsidies to make the transition back to work more seamless and  successful.

What are the business advantages of return-to-work programs for moms?

For businesses, offering return-to-work programs for moms helps retain valuable female leaders and supports a seamless transition back into the workplace, increasing retention and enhancing productivity. Return-to-work programs are also an attractive benefit that helps companies compete for top talent.

The impact of return-to-work programs for moms

Return-to-work programs for moms are an effective way for employers to guide their employees back to the workplace after having a child. With structured support and valuable benefits, moms receive the help they need as they figure out how to balance parenting and a career.

As a global leader in back-up care, on-site child care benefits, and daycare tuition subsidies, Bright Horizons provides strategic solutions to help working moms return to work.

Return-to-work programs by the numbers

Working mothers were most represented in the workforce in 2000 but have been disappearing ever since. Yet the Modern Family Index reports 92% of expectant mothers intend to return to work with the same commitment as before giving birth. This statistic shows new mothers want to work, and it points to the lack of resources and support for the transition back to work as a leading cause of female under-representation in corporate leadership.

A recent Bright Horizons survey revealed the impact that return-to-work programs for moms and corporate child care benefits can have on businesses:

  • Retention: 90% of respondents indicate they would be more likely to continue to work for their company if offered employer-sponsored child care.
  • Well-being: 91% of respondents agree that child care benefits help to manage their stress levels.
  • Job satisfaction: 95% say employer-sponsored child care gives them added flexibility at work, and 85% say it is important to their job satisfaction.

Challenges of returning to work

Returning to work after having a baby is a difficult decision for new mothers. One recent study reported over a third of women are declining to return to work at all. This is one reason why women are severely under-represented in management positions, even though women make up almost 60% of college graduates. Motivated, career-oriented women are giving up careers because they can’t imagine a way to manage the demands of work while caring for their child.

Employers have good reason to be concerned. There are between 30 and 60 million working parents in the workforce, and many are in leadership positions where finding a replacement can cost four times an executive’s salary. Employee turnover due to the pressures of parenting is a major burden on companies, and it’s draining organizations of female leaders. Among the new mothers who choose to return to work, family conflicts are causing significant productivity losses across industries, hindering opportunities and costing businesses millions. Moreover, new moms who return to their careers often leave their employer for a competitor with better child care benefits, even if it requires taking a pay cut.

Offering parental leave has helped retain some employees, but it’s not a perfect solution. To keep valuable employees and capitalize on their potential, employers need to provide critical support when parents come back from leave. Return-to-work programs for moms ensure promising female employees can find the pathway back to their career.

Bright Horizons return-to-work programs for moms

Bright Horizons is one of the country’s leading onsite child care companies, with more than 30 years of experience helping employees solve work/life balance issues. Our return-to-work programs for moms help new mothers adjust to the new pressures of life as a parent and have confidence in a successful return to their career.

Employer-sponsored return-to-work programs for moms from Bright Horizons provide:

  • Proactive communication: Meetings with expectant and new mothers offer opportunities to talk about the process of returning to work and remind them they’re eagerly wanted back.
  • Accessible resources: We collect everything new mothers need to know in one easy-to-find place, including information on child care, back-up care, discounts, subsidies, updates to insurance, and everything else the company offers.
  • Child care transition: On-site daycare programs provide new parents with full-time or temporary access to child care as they adjust to new commuting and care routines or while they remain on waitlists for full-time care.
  • First-year benefits: Meaningful aid in the first year back to work – including flex time, extra back-up care days, and the option of limiting business travel – can smooth the transition for new parents.
  • A point of contact: Providing a dedicated specialist who can answer questions or give advice spares parents from having to search for answers or contact multiple departments. 
  • Individualized career coaching: Advising that considers the professional responsibilities and family demands of each employee helps returning mothers re-engage at the right pace.
  • Company-wide support: Companies must ensure that all levels of management are supportive of working moms and that they’re encouraged to use the benefits entitled to them.
  • Ongoing conversations: Periodic meetings with new mothers to touch base can help the company figure out how to make their first years back easier.

Advantages for employers

A family-friendly culture is an invaluable business differentiator in the eyes of hard-working employees and qualified candidates. Offering employee child care benefits and return-to-work programs helps new parents remain in their careers and shows younger employees on the rise that working parents are wanted, welcome, and valued.

Employer benefits of return-to-work programs for moms include:

  • A larger talent pool: Return-to-work programs draw qualified women to critical positions, providing access to a broader market of promising leaders.
  • A competitive edge: Offering corporate child care and return-to-work programs for moms creates benefits-envy, making the most talented job candidates more likely to gravitate to an employer.
  • Retention of future leaders: Supporting employees in their return from parental leave builds loyalty among motivated working parents and future leaders planning to become parents.



Family care benefits have never been more important. See how Bright Horizons can support your team.

Bright Horizons offers more than a traditional daycare. It helps parents looking for education-based Boston daycare, NYC daycare, Chicago daycare, Washington, DC daycare, Los Angeles daycare, San Francisco daycare, Seattle daycare and local daycares in other cities. It also provides back-up daycare and elder care, employer-sponsored child care, employer tuition assistance, workforce education, and student loan repayment programs. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters is located in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.