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The Cost of Not Providing Employer Childcare Benefits

Working and childcare go hand in hand for working families; in order to work, one will need care, and to pay for care, one will need to work. However, with childcare service charging families upwards of $18,000 a year, working parents question whether it pays to work when 10-20% of their income will go towards care alone. 

Traditionally in the past, businesses found this to be an individual issue, however, it is becoming profoundly clear that this investment in employees is the right move for a number of reasons. 

Offering employer childcare and family benefits not only takes the pressure off of families but is a good return on investment. In fact, a lack of childcare benefits can result in an expense to all. 

Let us dig into some of the costs of ignoring this benefit at work. 

Competition and Better Benefits 

Today we see both working moms and dads choosing to work. With both members working, childcare is a must and is expected. To avoid the high price of care or prevent delays in their career, many parents will seek out jobs that do provide childcare benefits. 

In a survey, 62% of participants said that they would leave a job for one with better benefits, another article expressed that many millennials, a fast-growing population of the job market, are willing to take a pay-cut for better benefits. 

As industry leaders recognize that employees are attracted to jobs with better work-life balance and benefits packages, more companies are putting together appealing benefits package with a desirable work-life balance. These companies are finding that these tools are bringing about greater success in their recruitment and retention tactics. With lower turnover rates and attracting sought after talent, these companies not only save but generate more money in the long-term. 

Higher Paying Jobs 

Many a parent may leave their current job for one with a higher salary to better tackle the never-ending expenses of care. A 2018 survey on the cost of care shows that 63% of parents agreed that childcare influenced the direction of their career, with 28% changing their job for one that is higher-paying. 

These statistics should be concerning for businesses, especially as millennials, the fastest-growing generation in the workforce become parents. A workplace is only as successful 

as its employees and if parents are not feeling supported or receiving the benefits they need to be successful, they may move onto a job that can better aid their care needs. 

Absenteeism and Presenteeism 

Sometimes prearranged care can fall through in the last minute or a child might need to skip school due to illness, a working parent will then have to use their sick hours. This reality is wasting businesses at least $3 billion dollars a year in the U.S. 

Presenteeism is another costly issue brought up by childcare issues. Parents want the best for their children yet childcare is so expensive that many parents cannot afford the high-quality care they wish for their children, furthermore only 11% of childcare centers and providers are accredited. Both of these dilemmas can distract parents or even keep them from re-entering the job force. 

What Can your Company Do About it?

Working parents make up a large portion of the workforce, to ensure organizational growth, it is key to retain this population. To keep parents happy and physically and mentally present, it is ideal as a company to offer various options that will help with the cost of care. 

Flexible Hours

A simple way to significantly reduce your employees’ childcare expenses without cost on the business end is to allow flexible hours. Allowing an employee this flexibility can save parents from the hefty price tag of before and after school care and give them a peace of mind. 

Allowing for overall flexibility will also make a major difference, especially when issues arise. No matter how stellar the employee is, a parent will always deal with a childcare emergency first. A bit of flexibility can make the difference between employees having to take a sick day or coming into work a little later. 

Offer Childcare Benefits 

Providing a package with an array of childcare benefits and paid parental leave can take some of the pressure off of parents and account for a more successful business. 

While childcare benefits might be a pricey upfront cost, it ultimately rewards everyone. Your company will see better results in recruiting and retaining employees and in the long-run, there will be a return in investment with dedicated employees with higher productivity and less money lost to absenteeism and presenteeism due to a lack of childcare. 

The benefits of childcare help all and while implementing a new package may seem overwhelming, there are communities and companies who will support and make this process less daunting.