It can feel overwhelming to dive into the world of child care benefits for the first time — especially since there isn’t a consensus on what qualifies as a “standard” child care benefits offering. To be as inclusive and effective as possible, the types of child care benefits you offer should align with what your employees need. We used the findings from our Parents at the Best Workplaces report to identify some of the most popular categories of child care offerings that working parents request.

While these aren’t the only categories of child care benefits that exist, they’re the ones that we believe will have the most significant impact on your working parents. Take a look to see which one might make the most sense for your workforce.

1. Facilities 

Reimbursing employees for child care facilities or providing an on-site child care center has historically been one of the most common types of benefits. But with 58% of employees always or sometimes working remotely during the pandemic, this category is rapidly evolving to include the use of in-home babysitters or nannies, in addition to daycare centers. 

Companies that are interested in this category of child care benefits may also want to consider a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA). This is a pre-tax benefit account that can relieve some of the financial burden on working parents when they pay for eligible dependent care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, and babysitters.

Offerings in this category are especially prevalent now, as 60% of U.S. parents say they’ve had no outside child care during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s likely why 78% of the Best Workplaces are supporting their parents with finding childcare, while 56% are providing back-up child care options. At Maven, we’re also providing additional child care support through our Parenting & Pediatrics program, which has established partnerships with leading sitter and daycare providers (both virtual and in-person) to give working parents more options. 

2. Education  

Education costs account for 16% of the cost of raising a child — making it one of the biggest expenses involved in having kids. But education has become even more of a burden during the pandemic, as many parents have had to take on schooling their children themselves. Companies can support parents by relieving some of the stress of locating and paying for remote learning opportunities. In turn, their employees can focus on work without the added distractions of managing remote learning for their children.

This can include services like in-home tutoring, access to virtual learning centers, and tools to facilitate remote learning — such as textbooks and laptops. For people who have access to our Parenting & Pediatrics program, we also provide vetted education services like homeschooling support and virtual tutors, with discounts for Maven members.

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3. Flexible work 

Now more than ever, working parents are struggling with the dissolution of boundaries between home and “office” life. In fact, a survey found that 57% of parents are overwhelmed by their current working situation, and it’s easy to see why. From trying to squeeze in a morning homeschooling lesson before a 9am call to constantly having their flow of work interrupted by their kids, working parents simply don’t have the time, space, or energy to manage both simultaneously.

That’s why flexible work is becoming an increasingly important category of child care benefits for companies to consider. This includes allowing employees to work different hours, extending paid parental leave, and giving parents the option to reduce the number of hours they work without losing employee benefits. In our survey with Great Place to Work, we found that companies that invest in employees and their families see 5.5 times more revenue growth thanks to greater innovation, higher talent retention, and increased productivity. 

4. Health and Wellness

Parents always prioritize the health of their children. But now there’s an added layer of concern, as 67% of parents have indicated concern about their children’s social and emotional health due to school closures. But it’s not only the children of employees that companies should be concerned about. Two-thirds of parents report feeling anxious as they navigate decisions about child care and may not be looking after their own wellbeing during these stressful times. 

Health and wellness benefits are crucial to providing working parents with the care they need to stay productive. Services in this category can include mental health support (such as Employee Resource Groups for parents, which 61% of the Best Workplaces offer), behavioral counseling, and telehealth options. Maven has streamlined these offerings through our Parenting & Pediatrics program, which integrates emotional support and career coaching for parents in addition to specialized pediatric guidance for children.

These are just some of the most popular childcare benefits that leading companies are offering to their employees. They can relieve employees of some of the financial, emotional, and physical stress they’re experiencing during this pandemic (and even beyond it) and demonstrate that your organization is invested in supporting them and their families long-term.

Want to learn more about how to best support your working parents? Download our report.

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