What could be better than having childcare at your worksite? No extra travel time and you’re always nearby in case you’re needed for something. Onsite care addresses the childcare issues of access, affordability, and quality for working parents. Employers can operate the onsite care independently or partner with an external childcare provider to manage the operation.
While this option is perhaps the best choice for many reasons, it also carries a significant financial investment and time commitment — up to 18 months to launch. Providing onsite care with equitable benefits to all employees can be challenging if there are multiple work locations. Depending on your location, it may be challenging to meet demand, and local provider partners may have limited availability compared to larger providers.
What You Can Do
Assess your working parents’ needs
Understand the size of demand and projected usage. Find out who your working parents are and identify what data you need to gather and how to access it.
Create a cross-functional task force
Compose a leadership unit with HR, Finance, Tax, Operations, Legal, Compliance, IT, Security, Supply Chain, and other departments to address the issue from every angle. Your capacity may not meet the demand, and if that’s the case, determine how you will prioritize demand.
Do your homework
Research the landscape and assess what is within organizational capacity. Your state lead agency and Child Care Resource and Referral agency can help identify providers and builders familiar with childcare requirements. Look into existing subsidies, quality/facilities grants, partnering with other employers, tax benefits, and incentives.
Build and launch
Obtain permits and supplies, construct the building or renovate the space.
Track the impact
Gather data on utilization, and create and implement feedback mechanisms to obtain input from parents regularly. Measure the impact of this investment on recruitment, retention, absenteeism, and other important aspects of your business.