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Childcare benefits for working parents: a competitive advantage

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Why childcare benefits are a vital resource for working professionals and high-performing organisations

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Most companies around the UK will try to offer different reward packages to their employees to increase retention. Employers will offer early Friday finishes, quarterly and annual bonuses, medical cover, retirement planning, paid sick leave, and many more. However, most of them won’t offer, or even considerer, any type of childcare in their benefits package.

From April to June 2019, 75.1% of mothers with dependent children were in work in the UK. This compared with 92.6% of fathers with dependent children[1]. The Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents in England 2019[2] says that “62% of mothers with children aged 0 to 4 were in work in 2019, in line with 61% in 2018. Around seven in ten (69%) working mothers said that having reliable childcare helped them go out to work…”.

The above mentioned data is just a confirmation of what everyone knows; the data indicates that childcare is an important issue for employees as some will start planning to have families or already have children at home.

HR departments can help improve their organisation’s benefits packages, adding childcare benefits to their list. To do this, they will need to evaluate which childcare benefits will improve their workplace, and they will need to give the benefits to every employee, men and women.

Those employees who feel support from their company when it comes to childcare and work-life balance will value their employer more, therefore they are more likely to stay with the company.

Hay Group, in their global survey, mentions that for those organisations that don’t look to support their employees work-life balance, 27% of their employees will search for another job within the next two years.[3]

Those companies who decided to extend their benefit package with childcare benefits will have a retention of 86% of mothers after their return from maternity leave.[4]

Around 28.9% of mothers and 30.9% of fathers find it difficult to balance their childcare responsibilities within their work-life. The most common difficulties they mentioned are long working hours, unpredictable or difficult work schedules, a demanding or exhausting job, and long commuting times.

Likewise, parents find it hard to ask for or take a whole day off work for childcare purposes.

HR departments who look to step up from their competitors, and attract and retain staff, will support their employees, either with the cost of or practicalities of childcare. When we talk about the benefits that offering help in childcare will bring to your company, we need to put this into numbers.

The 2015 Modern Families Index says that 59% of parents would consider the childcare option before applying for a promotion or a new job, while 40% said that they would give up a week of paid leave for dependable childcare.[5]

More than ever, parents are looking into the whole package of benefits that companies are offering to choose one job or the other. HR departments that decide to add childcare benefits to the list will widen their pool of options to hire new talent, especially at a senior level. Parents who feel their employers care about them and their family will think twice before changing jobs.

The right compensation and benefits schemes ensure that hard-working employees are rewarded fairly and in the most cost-effective way for the company. This, in turn, motivates employees to sustain their performance.

When HR departments offer benefits, like help with childcare, those employees who are parents will greatly benefit from them, which in turn will have a positive impact on their performance.

Would you like to know how we can help HR departments to provide support in childcare to employees?

At Little Ones, we truly believe that finding a nanny or au pair is an important decision for your employees. It is not just because they will have to invest some money, but because they will open the door to their home to someone outside of the inner circle.

They are not only looking for someone who will come to spend a few hours with their children;  they are looking for someone who will become part of their family, someone that they will trust to be at their home and help with any problem that might arise

Little Ones is a nanny and domestic staff agency with over 15 years of experience. Our specialist consultants will do their best to match the perfect nanny or housekeeper for your employees’ family. They will introduce your staff to nannies and housekeepers that will tick the majority of the requirements and qualifications that they need the person to have.

Little Ones can provide access to hundreds of nannies’ profiles and support your employees through the selection process.

Every employee that contacts us to start a childcare search, where their company has a partnership with us, will receive a 15% discount off their placement fee.

Call us for a free consultation, without compromise. We love helping families find their perfect nanny. For more information about our services, please feel free to contact our direct line 0207 183 0309.

[1] Families and the labour market, UK: 2019

[2] Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents in England, 2019

[3] Hay Group Insight Employee Effectiveness Survey, 2013

[4] Maternity rights and mothers’ employment decisions, DWP, 2008

[5] Modern Families Index, 2015, Working Families and Bright Horizons

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