It’s obvious what working parents gain from on-site day-care programs: reliable, safe, and convenient care for their children. But what do the employers get out of it?
Let’s start with happier and more productive employees.
In a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, employers cite child-care issues as causing more problems than any other family-related issue in the workplace, with increases in absenteeism and tardiness reported in nine out of 10 companies. And 80% of the companies surveyed said that work days were cut short because of child-care problems.
Child care benefits the employers who sponsor it by improving employee morale, reducing turnover and absenteeism, and increasing productivity.
And pampering bottoms might just help the bottom line. A cost-benefit study conducted by Cynthia Ransom and Sandra Burud at the Union Bank in Pasadena, Calif., showed the institution’s on-site day-care program saved it $138,000 to $232,000 in annual operations costs, due to the reduction in both turnover and absenteeism.
Child-care services enable employers to gain wage savings, too. For the book Kids at Work: The Value of Employer-Sponsored On-Site Child Care Centers, authors Rachel Connelly, Deborah S. DeGraff, and Rachel A. Willis studied hundreds of employer-sponsored child-care programs and interviewed some 1,000 employees. Their research demonstrates on-site day care is not only affordable but also profitable. The researchers estimated savings in wages of $150,000 and $250,000 for just two companies that provided on-site day care.
A majority of workers were willing to pay, on average, $125 to $225 per year to subsidize on-site day care—whether or not they had young children. That’s right—even nonparents said they’d chip in, because they believed it would help raise morale and increase productivity.
"It shouldn’t be so surprising that people who work...