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Care@Work / Care@Work Blog / How Companies Can Help Parents Manage the Cost of Care

How Companies Can Help Parents Manage the Cost of Care

Patrick Ball on September 29, 2015 07:56 AM

You know it's in your organization's best interest to keep working parents -- who comprise a large percentage of the working population -- present, productive and engaged in their jobs.

But did you know how big a distraction the cost of child care can be for those working moms and dads? About 70 percent of working parents say the cost of child care has influenced their career decisions. That's how big. 

Increasingly, companies are viewing work-life benefits -- from maternity and paternity leave to child care assistance -- as a way to appeal to working parents and Millennials who are thinking ahead to starting their families. 

Not only are these types of family care benefits effective ways recruiting and retention tools, but they also help in terms of cutting down on absenteeism and presenteeism, and improving employee engagement and productivity. More and more, helping employees manage life outside of work is turning out to be a good business decision. 

Here are a few examples of things employers can do to help parents deal with the cost of care. 

  1. Family Care Benefits
    One solution is to offer family care benefits, through a program like Workplace Solutions, to help employees manage work-life issues. Having resource and referral benefits through a premium membership, provides employees with choice enough to potentially drive costs down and allow employees find the best care solution for their families. Your most inexpensive benefit can help working parents with their largest household expense.

    Related: Learn More About Workplace Solutions 

  2. Education
    Educate employees on how an FSA, DCAPs and other tax breaks can help offset the expense of child care. FSAs, for example, can help families save up to $2,000 per year on child care expenses. And President Obama has a proposal to triple child care tax breaks for families. Making employees aware of how they can help themselves can make a huge difference between a stressed working parent and an engaged employee.  

    Related: 9 Ways the Cost of Child Care Impacts Working Parents' Careers 
  3. Backup Care 
    Provide subsidized backup care for when employees need child care in a pinch. When school or day care closes, or the nanny’s care won’t start, working parents often scramble to find situational care to meet unexpected needs. If an inexpensive solution like employer-provided backup care is just a phone call away, it can make the difference between a super stressful afternoon or missed deadline. Employee benefits like backup care are cost-savers for employers and employees alike, cutting down on absenteeism and child care costs simultaneously.

    Related: 15 Times When Working Parents Need Backup Child Care 

  4. Flexibility 
    A little flexibility goes a long way for working parents. And, for employers, being flexible can mean the difference between losing a valued employee and retaining a loyal worker. As parents look to scale back hours or work from home once in a while in an attempt to deal with child care or other family responsibilities, take advantage of the technology that enables them to stay connected and engaged. Providing flexibility over when and where employees work does not have to come at the expense of results. Allow flex work and hold employees accountable and you just might find that you're getting better results from your working parents. 

Employee Benefits Communication