HomeChild CareEmployee Child Care Alternatives
Posted in Child Care on 28th April 2011

Employee Child Care Alternatives

According to official statistics, corporations in United States loose as much as billion every year due to child care related absences. As such, there is definite need for companies to adjust own work conditions to the needs of skilled employees. At the present moment, businesses use such benefits as flexible schedule, possible leaves of absence, work at home and part time arrangements, as well as offer assistance in obtaining high quality child care. Such policies are beneficial for both employees and the companies themselves, as women get an opportunity to feel more secure about their children’s safety, whereas the company increases own productivity, employee job satisfaction, and, as a consequence, customer loyalty. Even though the perspective is not new, relatively few companies employ such a policy. This solution would allow economic efficiency, as child care services would be offered on a large scale, so economy would be realized on high volume operations. At the same time, it would also positively contribute to the quality of services provided and raise the level of certainty among mothers. It should be further pointed out, that single women most likely would not be the primary beneficiaries from this solution, as child care costs would proportionately raise for companies who employ single mothers. As such, child care options offered by employees should be combined with the governmental policy that would either provide subsidies to companies with high number of single mothers in the labor force, or would establish a definite number of single mothers to be employed for a company.

A child care alternative provided by a company could be implemented in the form of an on site facility. They can be located either directly within the territory of a company or in a child care center located nearby. On cite facilities are the most advantageous for employees, but at the same time are very costly for employers. As such, when choosing to introduce a child care on site facility a company should consider specific parental needs, employee need and commitment, the type of a program as well as the range of the services in order to establish the approximate cost of it. As normally a company would have a number of employees with different needs for child care services, an on site facility by itself would resolve the problem of child care needs, but rather should be combined with other programs offered by employees.

Flexible benefits and spending options could also be introduced as part of the solution to child care problems of single mothers. Benefits received by mothers and employees who do not need child care services could be adjusted to their current needs within a budget established by a company. This option is not costly for employers, but allows flexibility in spending for employees. This policy is also the easiest to implement.

Flexible benefits and spending options for single parents could becombined with referral services that can be a valuable source of information and educational material for parents. By contacting information centers on available child care services in the local area, a child care administrator either full time of part time could provide consultation and advice. This solution raises the level of education among mothers as well as improves the quality of services provided, and, when being combined with flexible benefits and spending options, allows saving on child care expenditures through flexible budgeting.

A child care consortium could also be a solution to the problem, as it allows cost minimization through better allocation of child care costs and raises the quality of services provided. Consortium of firms is organized by joined efforts of several companies, that join together to open an off site facility. As the number of children with similar needs would rise as a result of joined efforts of several companies, this would allow better delivery of services based on the age of children. This solution is flexible, economic, and might be difficult to manage, as there would be a need to develop a single policy for several companies.

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