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What Business Leaders Can Do to Implement Backup Care

With the recent spread of COVID-19, schools in Washington and Northern California are being forced to temporarily shut down.  Unexpected school closures like these often force working parents to come up with last-minute childcare solutions now that their kids won’t be able to attend school.  And even when school doesn’t unexpectedly shut down, parents are still forced to find last-minute childcare anytime their kids have to stay home sick.

Companies are slowly starting to implement backup childcare for their employees as part of their employee benefits package.  This is good not only for employee wellness, but also for the employer’s bottom line.  But how exactly can business leaders get started providing their employees with access to reliable and affordable backup childcare?  Here is what business leaders can do to implement backup care for employees:

Do the research and educate your team

The first and most important thing to do when implementing backup care is to arm yourself with the knowledge about why backup care is vital for employees and employers alike.  After all, US businesses lose roughly $4.4 billion every year from employee absenteeism due to childcare breakdowns.  Educate your team about the need for family benefits such as backup childcare and develop strategies to implement it.

Work with contracted childcare centers

Business leaders can find childcare centers to partner with to provide their employees with backup childcare.  The way it usually works is that the company will pay the center a yearly membership fee in exchange for a certain number of days or hours of backup childcare for their employees.  The employer subsidizes the cost of backup childcare, charging the employees only a small fraction of the cost.  Business leaders can also offer a set number of free days of backup care for their employees every year as part of their employee benefits. 

Work with services that provide in-home childcare

Services such as Helpr provide on-demand access to backup care.  Business leaders can work with agencies like Helpr to customize benefit packages for their team, providing their employees with in-home childcare in as little as 3 hours.  Once the contract is in place, employees can then contact Helpr directly, paying a reduced fee for a prescreened caregiver.  Helpr is unique in that we offer in-network and out-of-network packages—meaning families can upload a provider from their personal care network. By partnering with these services, business leaders can subsidize backup care for their employees much more cheaply than by implementing on-site childcare centers.

Finding high-quality and affordable childcare is difficult enough with advance notice, let alone having to find it at the last minute.  Often times it’s the employers who have to bear the brunt of the childcare crisis as working parents are forced to call in sick to care for their children.  By following these tips and implementing backup care for their employees, businesses can reduce employee absences and increase employee productivity.


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