Employer Roadmap: Childcare Solutions for Working Parents
According to a 2020 U.S. Chamber Foundation Survey, 76% of businesses have seen employees leave, and 43% of those businesses report that over 75% of those who left were female.
This speaks to the larger issue of childcare access for working parents and guardians. Finding affordable, quality childcare that allows parents — especially women — to continue in the workforce is affecting households around Greater Des Moines (DSM) and employers' bottom line.
What can we do about this issue?
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of childcare has become front and center, as challenges for families and employers have worsened because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. It is up to leadership in industries across all sectors to assist in determining solutions and increasing communication with working families. The Employer Roadmap lays out ideas for industry support and offers solutions for employers and working families.
Leadership can identify solutions to help, including providing support in finding and retaining workers in the following industries: agriculture, food service, grocery, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing and retail.
Businesses are already paying for the lack of high-quality childcare through high turnover rates, absenteeism, reduced productivity and recruitment of skilled workers. If families cannot find accessible, affordable and quality options for childcare, they will have fewer employment options and companies will lose out on those talents and contributions. In fact, 62% of employers see childcare as a reason for employees leaving. The following five benefits become more likely when childcare is considered and solutions are found:
Increased Employee Performance
- Recruitment and Retention of Employees
- Strong Community Standing
- Positive Brand Impact
Solutions to the childcare issue can come in many forms. From flex scheduling to childcare vouchers, to on-site care and public advocacy within the community, employers are a key component of creating a supportive organization that can provide the right resources for working parents.
Employers can start by understanding the needs of working parents through HR data, surveys and parent feedback. Research into the local childcare market and determining how employees feel about childcare options within the community is crucial to influencing and identifying potential solutions to this complex issue.
Read the entire Employer Roadmap here.
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The Partnership's Public Policy team engages with local, state and federal officials to create public policy that generates economic growth, business prosperity and talent development in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Partnership is a nonpartisan organization.
Andrea Woodard is the senior vice president of government relations and public policy at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.