When both you and your spouse work full-time or if you are a single parent, child care is a major issue. Some organizations recognize that on-site child care is a valuable resource for the working parent and that the cost of providing child care for their employees is often off-set by productivity gains and improved morale. In addition to the benefits to the employee, there may also be advantages for the employer who provides on-site child care.
When a child is sick or there is no child care available, that usually means a parent stays home. New parents may be particularly vulnerable to child-care issues simply because they don’t have an established network of back-up baby-sitters. As a result, child-care related absences can cost employers as much as $3 billion annually, according to an article on the BabyBoomer website. On-site child care can alleviate some of these costs. With on-site child care, parent and child simply come to work together.
Tardiness because of child-care issues was reported as major issue in nine out of 10 companies, and 80 percent reported that child-care problems cut work days short, according to “Bloomberg Businessweek.” Commuting can be taxing in many cities, and when the commute includes a child-care drop-off as well as the parent’s commute, complexities multiply. On-site child care means both parent and child are going to the same destination. On-site child care also allows the parent to check on a child during a break or at lunch, or provides an opportunity for a nursing mother to breastfeed.
One of the benefits of on-site child care to an employer is increased longevity of employees. According an article on the Wolters Kluwer Law and Business website, parents who brought their child to on-site care were 68 percent more likely to have longer tenure than employees who did not have children or who did not use on-site care. In some cases, the parents who used employer child care had been there five to nine years longer. The same survey found that nearly all parents who used full-service child care through the employer would include that benefit in their decision to make a job change, while over half joined the company in the first place because child care was offered on-site.
On-site child care can save organizations money. According to the “Bloomberg Businessweek” article, the Union Bank in Pasadena, California, saved as much as $232,000 in operating costs annually because turnover and absenteeism dropped. The same article noted two other companies saved $150,000 and $250,000, respectively, by providing on-site day care. The National Network for Child Care reports that depending on the type of child care program it offered, a business could reduce turnover by 37 percent to 60 percent and employee absences by 20 percent to 30 percent.
Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.