Learning Care Group News: April 20, 2023

Child Care Challenges Persist for Hybrid Workers

As we enter the fourth year post-pandemic in our new working world, it’s clear that hybrid arrangements are here to stay. COVID upended decades of traditional models and workplace offerings. At first, it all seemed like a temporary wrinkle. Everyone was working at home, so it quickly became the norm to balance work and kid duty all at once.

Sure, it was fun for a while. (But not really.)

Yes, workers saved money on child care and lunches from Panera. But being both officemates and housemates definitely had its drawbacks. As kids became coworkers, parents became stressed (even more than usual). As it persisted, the challenges of creating balance had an impact that led to many working parents having to make a choice: work or take care of kids. And now for those who want to bring children back to child care, they’ve struggled to find care as many mom-and-pop centers were unable to survive the pandemic.

For some, leaving the workforce seemed like the best option. For employers, this meant that talent and resources were being depleted. And for employees with kids who stayed, they were distracted and less productive.

There are companies who have adapted and understand work/life balance is essential when it comes to hiring top talent. Per an August 2022 Forbes article on child care and working families:

  • 56% of employers now offer some child care benefits
  • Only 36% of companies did in 2019

Is that you—or are you still holding out for some reason? Trust us, this is one business trend you want to be in on. Recruitment and retention are directly impacted by your ability to offer team members a proper work/life balance with benefits that work for them.

When working parents resign, companies lose a lot: skilled managers and mentors with expertise and institutional knowledge. This loss of talent is immense, and this experience is needed more than ever now.

This trend has been especially true when it comes to working women. Employee Benefit News (EBN) has reported on the declining involvement of women in the American workforce.

  • 2021: 71% of women (86% in leadership roles) intended to stay with their employer
  • 2022: Only 63% (68% in leadership roles) intended to stay with their employer

According to research by McKinsey & Company53 percent of working mothers with children 5 and under who resigned, reduced working hours, or changed jobs, did so because of child care.

Employers are challenged by this record number of women that have left the workforce. Now, more than ever, they recognize that a child care benefit makes them an employer of choice. More employers are seeking high-quality child care benefits (whether onsite or assistance in funding child care costs).

In addition, pre-pandemic organizations with a highly centralized workforce would often seek onsite care to serve employees working from the office five days a week. Due to the nature of remote work and increased employee flexibility, employers are now seeking benefits that will also help fund a portion of expenses for child care near employees’ homes.

For companies with most employees working centrally, such as healthcare, higher education, or manufacturing, companies desiring an onsite or near-site child care service will likely also need to leverage a network of community schools.

Learning Care Group has spent decades supporting working families across America. Put our expertise to use in your organization. Taking care of your employees is just good for business.

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