7 Things Employers Can Do to Help Their Employees with Child Care
Working parents spend a lot on childcare. Child Care Aware of America reports that it costs more to keep two kids in childcare than to pay rent in all 50 states. Working mothers place a high premium on corporate solutions for childcare. When Working Mothers magazine compiled a list of the “Top 100 Companies for Working Mothers,” they found that at least 80 of the top 100 offered their employees corporate childcare. If you run a business and you are looking at helping your employees with childcare. Here are some ways you can help your employees in this area.
- Provide corporate childcare. One of the most popular solutions for corporate childcare is onsite child care. There are a number of reasons for this. Working parents can break away and spend some time with their children during the day. This makes them feel better about spending more time at work. This is not always an option for companies but if it is, it should be considered. Workers who do not have to worry about childcare for their kids are more more productive and miss less time due to having to arrive late or leave early to deal with childcare issues that pop up.
- Offer DCAPs. Dependent Care Assistance Programs or DCAPs provide ways for employees to deduct certain expenses, such as those for childcare, from their paychecks before taxes are taken out. These also give employees reimbursements for amounts that go as high as $2,500 each year. Married couples can take up to $5,000 each year. To take advantage of this program, companies need to have a contract with a third party processor and there is a fee that must be paid to make this program work. This is another one of the more popular solutions for corporate childcare and can make a big difference for working parents.
- Provide subsidies for childcare. More and more companies are now offering their employees tuition assistance and scholarships. In the same vein, many are considering offering the parents they have working for them subsidies to help pay for their childcare. This is a benefit that ca go a long way to improving employee retention and happiness. Childcare is one of the biggest expensive for most parents today.
- Let your employees use their FSAs. Flexible savings accounts are already used by many people for healthcare. By expanding these to include costs associated with childcare you can do a lot to help ease your employees’ burden of paying for childcare. This can save working parents up to $2,000 each year.
- Offer a child care referral service. There are a number of companies out there that can help employers offer a referral service to help working parents find their own childcare. It is important to note that most working parents have to rely on multiple childcare options so the ability to find good quality childcare can make a big difference to these working parents.
- Offer flexible schedules. This is another one of the best solutions for corporate childcare that employers can offer their workers. For many parents, the two times of the day that are the most problematic are the mornings when they are trying to get their kids off to school and the afternoons when they are trying to get them home. By letting workers shift their schedules around so that they can be home for at least one of these times can help working parents immensely. Another option is to offer telecommuting options for employees. One of the reasons working parents take so much sick leave is to deal with childcare for their kids. If their job can be done remotely, employers should look into offering that option whenever it is possible.
- Offer back up assistance. When schools close for a weather emergency or there is a problem with the normal daycare, often working parents have no choice but to call in sick. By giving them a child care often can make a big difference for working parents.
Offering solutions for corporate childcare can make a giant difference in how working parents feel about their employer. Once childcare is dealt with, people are in a much better position to do a better job at work.