7 surprising uses of back-up care

Surprised toddler

A surefire way employers can boost productivity and performance is by offering back-up care benefits. Already utilized by many leading organizations, back-up care is primarily known for solving emergency child care issues; however, the flexibility of the offering lends itself to solving a variety of caregiving challenges. Here are seven unique ways organizations lean on Bright Horizons back-up care to address unexpected work/life conflicts. 

  1. Provide care outside normal hours: Back-up care can fill needs before and after hours when most child care centers are closed. For instance, all employees at Children’s Hospital Colorado receive 100 hours of back-up care each year, which can be used to supplement time not covered by the typical 8-to-5 hours child care is available. 
  2. Ease caregivers’ ability to attend business functions: Whether it’s a company event, client meeting, or industry conference, employees may not be able to attend because they don’t have dependent or pet care to cover their time away from home. Back-up care offers a solution; assuring that qualified and vetted caregivers are available for support on the road (children) and at home (children and/or pets). Back-up care can also address care needs for special occasions; when PayPal hosted multiple holiday parties for employees across the country, it leveraged Bright Horizons Back-Up Care to provide in-home and on-site child care as a free perk to attendees.  
  3. Assist with children’s education through elementary and beyond: Back-up care isn’t just about providing care for infant-preschool-age children; it also supports the school-age set with their academic needs. At Sanofi, employees can tap into Bright Horizons’ Back-Up Care program, which provides access to virtual tutoring classes from subject matter experts as well as SAT prep, giving working parents additional support to help with their children’s education.  
  4. Cover school holidays, breaks, and “in-between” times: Back-up care can also save working parents time when school-age children need care because of planned or unplanned breaks in the school year. Back-up care provides access to vetted, quality online camps and age-appropriate summer camps. Back-up care can also help fill the “in-between” times when camps are closed, and schools aren’t yet open. Employees at one healthcare organization took advantage of a special spring break pop-up camp at their headquarters; while their parents worked, campers took part in a myriad of activities from art projects including creating individual paintings, jewelry, and wind chimes to sports and dance parties. 
  5. Support the back-to-work transition for new parents: With more organizations offering paid parental leave, many new parents face a difficult return-to-work after expanding their families. To ease the transition, SEI, a technology and investment solutions provider with 5,000+ employees globally, offers an additional six weeks of back-up care to parents who return to work from having or adopting a new baby. Mothers can use back-up care to bring infants to SEI’s on-site child care center where they can take breaks to nurse and care for them. Back-up care is also available to SEI caregivers who don’t live near the on-site care center.
  6. Handle employees’ elderly care emergencies – near or far:  One of the biggest challenges for Millennials – the largest portion of the modern workforce – is being caught between their growing families and supporting their aging parents. When facing an emergency involving an aging relative – whether near or away – back-up care can identify the resources needed for short term, in-home care or nursing services, or longer-term placement at an assisted living facility.
  7. Find care for 4-legged family members: Recognizing the importance of pets in employees' lives, leading employers like Alston & Bird lean on back-up care to provide pet care benefits for its staff, including dog walking, boarding, daycare, and housesitting services.

Interested in learning more? Explore how back-up care can help your organization mitigate unexpected work-life challenges and enhance employee engagement.

Surprised toddler

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