Build the Solution to the Problem:
At North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, NY, an on-site daycare facility was opened to immediately satisfy the needs of a nursing shortage. Hospital Spokesperson Dan Rosett shared, “We recognize that two-income families are a reality today…a daycare center was seen as an aid in recruiting and retaining nurses and other key employees.”
It just makes perfect sense.
10 million children are in daycare every day, and as every working parent knows, Shift 1 of the day is getting the kids to daycare. It’s no easy task: the packing, driving, unloading, getting them settled, and saying goodbyes. Then it’s back to the car, driving to work,and Shift 2 begins: a day of work and multi-tasking, but always on call for that cell phone to ring. Shift 3 is driving back to the daycare center, collecting and packing up your posse, and … You barely took a breath there, didn’t you?
That’s how most working moms and dads feel every day. There is a lot of experiential learning right here that supports why businesses lost $3 billion each year because of childcare-related issues. These costs, let alone your employees’ blood pressure and exhaustion level, can dramatically decrease if there is an on-site remedy available.
Two thumbs up for going to work with Mommy or Daddy!
Tips and Suggestions for Getting this Ball Rolling:
It’s not cheap. This you know. But if your company is looking to absorb some of that $3 billion lost in revenue because of childcare issues and/or there is a shortage of employees that you need, this is probably the best way to attract the strongest applicants.
For a center of approximately 100 children, the start-up costs will run about $500,000. It’s best to reach out to your county’s Resource and Referral Services to help you to take a pulse if this is a viable option for your company. Of course, for smaller companies, the start-up costs are much, much less.
Each state has different licensing regulations, and as should be the case, these are not taken lightly. Investigate what licenses are needed to open the doors.
Tap into Resources:
With minimal effort, it becomes quickly evident that there are organizations that specialize in helping businesses to get up and running with an in-house facility.
For example, in Minnesota, the Children’s Home Society of Minnesota (CHSM) partners with businesses that are thinking of jumping on this bandwagon. Their seasoned professionals assist with every step of the process – from the initial brainstorm to assessing the available space to attaining the proper licenses and ultimately opening the doors with fantastic employees and a welcoming environment. You don’t have to do this alone.
Consider a Lactation Room:
The number one reason for many moms are not returning to work sooner is because they are breastfeeding their little ones. If you’re considering creating an on-site daycare center, be sure to build a comfortable lactation room into the floor plan.
This is an enormous gift to the working mom, and of course, grateful employees most often go the extra mile for productivity. Happy employees = better business, every single time.
Again, there are referral services in your area; tap into them. There are so many great people out there looking for work, and many of them are parents themselves. Work hard to find a balance of seasoned professionals mixed in with people who will happily endure stringent training.
With parents in the building popping in and out during the day, the employees will be often observed and evaluated. Realize that this is a good thing; everyone will stay on their toes, and the parents will remain happy and productive.
Interns are getting younger and younger each year, aren’t they?
The days of one parent staying home with the toddler are all but gone. Most parents need to pack the diapers, sippy cup, briefcase, and coffee cup before they go racing out the door.
The data from the surveys is in, though: Parents deeply appreciate this option. One grateful mom says it best on CHSFS’s site: “I am so very appreciative of the exceptional, professional and caring environment you create [on site]. One worry I don’t have during the day is whether my daughter is being taken care of. I don’t take this for granted.” Without a doubt, most parents would share this same sentiment.
Let’s Cut to the Chase:
Having an in-house daycare center in your office building is going to get your employees to work on time, increase productivity, be entirely appreciated by the employees, and save big bucks.
If your company doesn’t have a daycare center on the premises, now might really be the time to consider doing so. It’s a win-win-win for the children, parents, and employers.
Valerie J. Wilson is a freelance writer who focuses on a wide variety of topics ranging from health and wellness to small business issues.