The benefits that children receive from being in a child care program are clear. The first few years of anyone’s life are the most critical in learning development. Children can assimilate more information than at any other point in their lives. Two year old children lean an average of five words a day and are the most active they have ever been or will ever be. A three year old child has developed nearly 1,000 trillion new connections in their brains. Adults have about half of that. A four year old child will ask approximately 437 questions a day.
Employer sponsored childcare usually consists of a facility on their business site that is solely designed for their employee’s use. While 11 million children under five are in a childcare program in the United States, parents shoulder 80% of the burden of paying for it. Often the amount parents pay is greater than what they take in from working. Most often the employees pay a fee and the facility itself is staffed by people the company has hired as contractors to run it.
So it is clear how the child benefits and how the parents want to find employer sponsored childcare, it may not be equally clear how companies benefit from providing it.
Employees of companies that provide corporate childcare are happier, healthier, miss less work and are generally more productive. When they are cannot find employer sponsored child care, parents are forced to make painful decisions between caring for their families and doing their jobs. They leave earlier in the day to pick them up from whatever they have arranged, are more likely to take time off to deal with family related issues, do not stay with the company as long and let their unhappiness be known. Employee retention is good for the bottom line and employees who are forced to make this painful choice often choose to work someplace else. Many have to make different sets of arrangements and looking for childcare can be very stressful.
Studies have shown that workers are often driven by things other than money when deciding to stay with a company. One factor is how the company treats them in terms of giving them the tools to do their job well. But this is often a crucial point for them and both mothers and fathers have left jobs because of the lack of childcare options. So many find employer sponsored childcare to be so important they rank employers with onsite childcare higher. It is offered by more than 80 of Working Mothers magazine’s “Top 100 Companies to Work for.”
This is a powerful benefit and enticement to get the best and the brightest to work for your company. Prospective employees are often impressed by companies that offer childcare at work. People find employer sponsored childcare to be a great benefit. People tend to be loyal to the people who are loyal to them. Providing a childcare facility demonstrates that loyalty. And at the end of the day, it is just the right thing to do.