- As the childcare crisis worsens, more and more companies are looking to support employees raising children with in-house daycare centers.
- Data from the Best Places for Working Parents group found that about 13 percent of businesses in its network offer some type of on-site child care.
- However, providing on-site child care is difficult and expensive.
Like millions of other parents, Emily Hovey drops her son off at daycare each morning before heading to work.
But her mornings are different from other parents.‘ In the morning, she will drop off her one-and-a-half-year-old child at a day care center run by her employer, Whirlpool.
The daycare, called Eddy, is located at the company’s global headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan, a five-minute drive from her office in the North American headquarters building.
“A safe environment surrounded by great teachers awaits him every day,” Hovey said. “And we really rely on that.”
A small but growing number of workplaces are offering on-site day care to employees, according to network data. The best place for working parents This includes over 600 companies of various sizes and services.
The organization has been tracking the number of businesses offering on-site child care in its network since just before the pandemic. In 2020, Best Places for Working Parents found that 8.5 percent of these companies offer on-site childcare services.
That number increased to 11.9% in 2021, decreased slightly to 11.4% in 2022, and rose to 13.9% this year, a network spokesperson told The Hill in an email.
Access to child care has a significant impact on whether parents work inside or outside the home.
Research shows this is especially true for women.
2022 Survey According to a study by McKinsey & Company, 45% of mothers with children under the age of 5 who quit their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic cited childcare as the main reason for leaving their jobs. , only 14% of fathers said the same.
Additionally, 24% of mothers with children under the age of 5 said they were considering reducing their working hours or switching to part-time work to raise their children.
Like Whirlpool, many workplaces offer on-site daycare to increase the company’s appeal to employees.
Research shows that when companies offer on-site child care, employees are more satisfied with their jobs; less likely to leave.
Clothing company Patagonia says it has offered on-site child care at its headquarters in Ventura, California, and distribution center in Reno, Nevada since 1983. Company website.
Patagonia General Counsel Hilary DeSooky told The Hill that nearly 100 percent of mothers return to work after maternity leave, thanks to the company’s paid leave policy and on-site child care.
“A parent-friendly policy is a hallmark of our culture and has resulted in an almost 50/50 gender balance at all levels within the company, increasing the number of women in leadership positions and thereby attracting and retaining talent. Our capabilities have increased,” Desouky said. he said in a statement to The Hill.
Former Patagonia CFO Rose Marcario said: fast company In 2016, employee turnover at its Ventura and Reno stores was reported to be 25% lower than that of its general workforce.
But creating a safe space for your employees’ children is complicated.
“The conversation often starts with on-site child care, which, for better or worse, remains the gold standard for employer child care support,” said Aaron Melchen, senior director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Because it has been done.” Foundation.
However, it can be costly for employers to build on-site centers and hire child care workers. Employers also need to consider insurance and local laws when considering offering on-site child care, Marchen said. One example, he suggested, could be zoning restrictions that disallow such facilities.
Hollis Wells Silverman, who runs a Washington, D.C.-based restaurant group. Eastern Point Collectiveis considering the idea of establishing a daycare for his employees.
But one of her biggest concerns is cost. Many companies that have successfully established on-site childcare centers will soon do so, including Patagonia, Toyota, Whirlpool, Bank of America, Vermeer, and Medtronic. walmart Everyone has “more flexibility on margins,” she says.
Silverman added that restaurants typically only make 5 to 10 cents on the dollar.
Additionally, restaurant employees typically need childcare after 6 p.m., when childcare workers’ hourly wages may increase.
“There are a lot of challenges, and I would love to solve them,” Silverman said.
But in the meantime, she told The Hill that restaurant employees are free to bring their children to work if they are unable to secure outside child care.
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