Last-minute changes to childcare arrangements directly impact an employee’s ability to show up and be productive at work. These scheduling breakdowns are often overlooked by employers, but have a relatively simple fix. Offering backup care is a quick solution that decreases absenteeism in the short term.
The cost of offering valuable backup childcare services is proportional to the size of the need. The availability of quality providers depends on the location and situation, and can also be subject to union and labor environment complexities. Be sure to look for both local options as well as potential solutions offered on a national level.
What You Can Do
Assess the needs of your working parents
Understand last-minute scheduling changes related to childcare and their impact on your business. Learn who your working families are and talk directly to them to get their input. Identify the data you need to gather and how to assess it.
Talk to your operations team and line managers
Understand the frequency of missed shifts and the resources spent addressing those losses. Learn about your current solutions and how they impact quality, efficiency, and safety.
Find your partners and understand your options
Determine the capacity of local providers to assist with backup care or commit to larger multi-state providers who can offer this option. Understand the fit for your organization, in terms of home-based vs. center-based programs, quality, capacity, cost, viability, and sustainability. For example, your backup care partner may be unable to cover your high-need shifts.
Decide and implement
When you’ve identified your level of financial commitment to offset the cost of backup care.
Track the impact
Once you’ve implemented it, gather data on utilization and create ways to get feedback from working parents regularly. Examine seasonality differences in utilization and alignment to important months for your business.