Jackson Healthcare, a family of highly specialized healthcare staffing, search and technology companies based in metro Atlanta, welcomed the first families to its on-site child care and early education center in 2019. Offering high-quality child care and early education programs for infant, toddler, preschool and pre-K aged children, the center is part of Jackson Healthcare’s commitment to helping employees live well and thrive in all aspects of their lives.
Beyond the child care center, Jackson Healthcare’s workforce benefits from a long list of holistic health and wellbeing offerings that exceed what companies traditionally provide. Its associates have access to an on-site health and wellness clinic that offers primary care and preventative solutions for employees and their families; a world-class state-of-the-art fitness center; mental health support with on-site counseling services and pet therapy dogs; on-site restaurants with healthy eating options; expansive personal and professional training options; financial wellbeing services; and opportunities to give back in the communities in which they live and work.
It's all part of Jackson Healthcare’s “Others First” culture – a philosophy of recognizing the value of each individual and putting their needs before your own. Bright Horizons recently spoke with Robyn Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer at Jackson Healthcare, about AlleGro, its on-site child care center, to get her insight into its impact on associates and the organization itself.
Your role as CHRO gives you a unique view into Jackson Healthcare’s growth and the steps it’s taken to achieve critical goals. Can you share your insights about the child care center’s evolution and the impact it’s had on the Jackson Healthcare community?
When I came to Jackson Healthcare more than ten years ago, one of my top priorities was to establish an on-site child care center for our associates’ children. As an organization, we’re driven by a mission to improve the lives of others – and we believe this starts internally with our people. With a large percentage of our associate base being women in their childbearing years, combined with our company’s tremendous growth, we knew that child care would be key to continue supporting the needs of our associates and an evolving workforce.
Finding affordable, high-quality child care is important for working parents, so we wanted to offer a phenomenal on-site option to fulfill that need for our moms and dads. And that’s what we did.
We believe that child care is mission critical, and we’re proud to serve our associates and their families in such an impactful way.
It was also important that we found a partner that could provide the quality education our families need and expect. In our case, that includes a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) component. Working with Bright Horizons gives us the ability to do that.
As a family-owned business with a commitment to supporting holistic wellbeing for its associates, Jackson Healthcare is unique. Can you tell us how your support for associates, including having your own on-site child care center, also supports your business model?
It’s clear that there's a talent war going on today. Having an on-site, accredited child care center is a differentiator for us at Jackson Healthcare, as not many companies are able to provide this offering. Because we’re able to meet the needs of associates in a unique way, it helps us recruit and retain talented professionals at a very high level.
Our talent acquisition team consistently highlights our center when talking with candidates and attending job fairs. We hear repeatedly how much people appreciate this offering and that it’s a factor in joining our company and staying here. Having an on-site child care center, especially a center of this caliber, undoubtedly helps us stand out to job seekers.
For us, the return on investment for our child care center is intangible. One of the greatest struggles for working parents is leaving their child every day. Alleviating some of that mental anguish leaves room in a person’s mind and heart and directly impacts productivity. In addition, our parents can visit the center throughout the day to see how their child is doing and that is a significant reliever of stress. They can come to work and have peace knowing that their children are nearby and receiving high-quality care.
Demand for our on-site child care has continued to grow, and for that reason, we’re expanding the center this year to serve even more of our associates and their families.
Can you share some background on your partnership with Bright Horizons and why you selected Bright Horizons as your on-site child center provider?
Partnering with Bright Horizons was an easy decision to make. On top of being a culture match for us, it is number one in its field. This was important because we wanted to offer the best to our associates and their children.
It’s clear why Bright Horizons has the reputation it has. The way the company cares for children and parents is best-in-class. From the tenure of its associates to the way its staff talks about their jobs, everyone I’ve met from Bright Horizons is passionate about their work at all levels of the organization.
Bright Horizons also was instrumental in helping identify how Jackson Healthcare could utilize highly incentivized state and federal tax credits on our child care investment, helping offset the operational expenses required to run the facility. In fact, our out-of-pocket spend amounts to just $.25 on every dollar we invest. With these tax credits, we’re able to offer a premium child care center with enriching programming at a highly competitive tuition rate, creating a win-win for both Jackson Healthcare and our families.
In addition, Bright Horizons couldn't have been a better partner to us during the pandemic, as our associates worked to help ensure healthcare professionals were mobilized nationwide to provide critical, life-saving care when and where it was needed. When our corporate campus closed due to COVID-19 and many of our associates worked from home, teachers from the child care center lead recorded activities and lessons for our associates’ children. Once our campus re-opened, we were able to adjust the center’s hours to better accommodate our parents’ needs and added part-time care and drop-in options.
How have your employees responded to having the on-site child care center at your facility?
Our associates appreciate having this offering on the same campus where they work. We see the positive impacts in our annual associate surveys and ongoing feedback loops. And we know that when our people’s needs are met and they feel valued, they have higher levels of job satisfaction and are more engaged.
Parents who have children enrolled at our center also say they now have more time to spend with their children – either because they can stop in during the day for a visit or because they don’t have to make an extra stop to pick up their child on the way to and from home. This is very meaningful for our working parents, and I believe our on-site child care center is a key factor in Jackson Healthcare being named among the nation’s best workplaces for women.
Through our on-site child care center and our partnership with Bright Horizons, our parents can come to work and have peace knowing that their children are nearby and thriving just steps away.