The availability and affordability of childcare has been a hot topic these past 18 months; hardly surprising when you consider a global pandemic led to one of the biggest childcare crises this country has ever seen. But why is that your problem? Surely it’s down to working parents (not businesses) to manage their own childcare?
Not necessarily – should you want to keep hold of your best people.
There’s been a shift in attitude since the pandemic; a change in priorities. People want high salaries and stable jobs, of course they do – but they also want an employer who cares; someone who’ll come through for them when the chips are down. Ultimately, people want an employer who values their contribution, both in and out of work. And for the talented women in your organisation with children, staying in the workforce would be largely impossible without childcare support.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty: why should childcare (or at the very least, emergency childcare) be something that you – the savvy, forward-thinking, destined-for-success employer – offer as standard?
1. Accessible on-demand and emergency childcare supports retention
12% of women leave the workplace after having children. Read that again. 12%. That represents over a tenth of the women in your company. They’re not leaving because they’re suddenly bad at their jobs, or because they no longer care about their careers; many leave because they struggle to find reliable and flexible childcare, or because their employer isn’t flexible enough to support the changes to their life outside of work.
2. Childcare as a benefit supports culture change
Introducing childcare as a standard employee benefit, or having emergency childcare on hand should your employees’ usual arrangements fall through, demonstrates your commitment to supporting working parents. Many parents—working women especially–find themselves unable to return to work because of a lack of flexible options.
As an employer, investing in reliable childcare sends a really positive message to your people about how much you care, and how committed you are to providing a safe and supportive working environment – one in which having a family is welcomed, rather than reprimanded. Of course, since the dawn of Covid, homeworking is more popular than ever – but even with homeworking, childcare is essential.
When your workers feel confident that their careers won’t suffer as a result of being a parent, you’ll notice a real shift in company culture.
3. Emergency childcare boosts productivity
Parents are masters of multi-tasking (it’s pretty much a prerequisite for the sake of parental sanity). If you really want to see that ninja-level efficiency in action though, your working parents need to be able to focus – and that requires hassle-free childcare. Instead of worrying about who to call on in a crisis, working parents can focus on their jobs and rest assured they have a backup plan.
Juggling our day jobs with home-schooling during the lockdown taught us one important thing: in order to thrive and perform at our best, a healthy dose of compartmentalisation is needed. When the kids are safely taken care of, parents can get the job done quickly and efficiently before taking back the parental reins at the end of the working day.
4. On-demand and emergency childcare prevents parental burnout
A recent report from Action For Children suggests that levels of parental stress, depression and anxiety have continued to rise even with the relaxing of pandemic restrictions. The extra caring responsibilities brought on by Covid-19– and the need to juggle those responsibilities with often unrelenting workloads – have taken their toll.
Now that the world has returned to a semblance of normality, the biggest luxury for working parents is time. That’s why employers who offer subsidised childcare – not just for the working day, but as an optional extra for parents who rarely get to enjoy a night or weekend off – can reap the benefits of a more engaged workforce.
Give your people the gift of time, and see their wellbeing soar.
5. Subsidised childcare for all supports inclusion
Investing in childcare support – for both mothers and fathers – encourages a more equal split when it comes to the burden of childcare. Sadly, childcare is inaccessible for many parents due to cost and availability – but YOU have the power to change that.
Why Childcare is Well Worth Investing in
Offering flexible, on-demand and emergency childcare for working parents allows you to attract (and keep hold of) the best candidates from a much wider talent pool. When employers share in the responsibility for childcare provision, it doesn’t only allow parents to show up: it allows them to show up with a whole different mindset. Your people will be proud to work for you, and they’ll be far more able to give you their best.
Get in touch to discover how Bubble can help with providing flexible, on-demand and emergency childcare support to your working parents.