Let’s face it: childcare is complicated, with no easy answers. Home daycares are inherently not a one-size-fits-all …
What benefits do employees want most? You’re probably familiar with the basics like vision healthcare. But workers are increasingly seeking benefits like work-from-home options, physical health programs, mental health programs, flexible or unlimited PTO, and employee childcare benefits.
Childcare benefits for employees were gaining momentum before the pandemic and demand has risen sharply over the last couple of years. With employer-sponsored childcare benefits, employees are supported and employers get a happier, more productive workforce.
What are childcare benefits? There are several different types of programs. But essentially, employee childcare benefits are a type of benefit program employers can offer their employees that addresses working families’ pain points — from cost to access to convenience.
Childcare benefits for employees include childcare assistance programs to help parents find and access quality childcare options, full and partial childcare stipends to offset employees’ significant care costs, and backup care to fill in during an emergency or when regular childcare plans fall through at the last minute.
How do employer-sponsored childcare benefits impact employees?
Benefit packages vary from organization to organization. When robust benefits — including childcare — are provided, there are myriad positive effects for employees.
With employee childcare benefits, workers:
Are able to fully commit to their roles: When working parents struggle with childcare issues at home, it can affect their work performance. It’s difficult to devote their full attention to their career. Employee childcare benefits help cross childcare off the list of working families’ concerns and allow them to focus on their roles.
Stay with the organization longer because they feel supported: When employers support employees with care benefits like employer-sponsored childcare, they feel more supported and typically work longer at the organization.
Have happier, healthier families: The reality is that families who struggle with childcare issues are also more likely to deal with other mental and physical challenges as well. Supporting working parents with employee childcare benefits helps foster healthier, happier families in the long run.
What happens when employers don’t offer childcare benefits?
As positive as having employer-sponsored childcare benefits is for employees, the inverse is also true for organizations that are not offering these programs to their workforce.
When childcare benefits for employees are not provided, the fiscal and personnel impacts for employers are substantial. Consider:
- Annual turnover and replacement costs: Hiring and recruitment can be challenging in the best of times. Employers are facing increased pressures to onboard, retain, and promote the right talent in a tight labor market amid fallout from the Great Resignation. Replacing employees is expensive, underlining the importance of reducing turnover and increasing competitive recruitment with the type of benefits workers want — including employee childcare benefits.
- Absenteeism and presenteeism: Without proper childcare, working parents may be either absent from work entirely (or present but far less productive due to distractions). This is why absenteeism is a primary concern of employers and an issue that is addressed by offering comprehensive childcare benefits for employees.
- Lost productivity: Over half of working parents report being distracted at their jobs because of childcare issues. This daily distraction adds up, resulting in a whopping cost to U.S. companies of $550 billion per year in lost productivity.
- The total cost of childcare benefits + ROI: Every organization is different, but employee childcare benefits can work for any employer. Based on a workforce of 13,000 employees with an average organizational salary of $55,000, the total cost of childcare benefits for employees can be $924,300.00 for one year. The total annual savings, however, works out to be $9,749,178.16, for a significant ROI of 955%.
How to offer childcare benefits for employees
Finding the right employee childcare benefits program for your workforce will set your organization up for success.
Getting started with employee childcare benefits is not as complex as it may seem at first glance. Assessing the needs of your working parents is a great place to start, along with determining where employees are located and where care is needed.
The preferred care setting and selecting the right childcare network are your next steps in offering childcare benefits for employees.
The type of support is another decision in finalizing employee childcare benefits, with program offerings range from:
- Childcare assistance to help working families find and access quality childcare
- Backup care to provide a safety net when regular childcare plans fall through
- Childcare stipends to offset employees’ considerable childcare costs
Employees are increasingly demanding family and care considerations like childcare assistance from their employers. And organizations are realizing the very real costs of sticking with the status quo — along with the ROI of adding an employee childcare benefits program.
WeeCare is a leading provider of childcare benefits for employees, working with employers around the country to support their unique workforce. Start the childcare benefits conversation at email@example.com.