The cost and benefits of offering on-site child care
- While affordable, on-site childcare child care is an impactful benefit, especially in a job seeker's market, the benefit is difficult for some employers to arrange, Fast Company reported.
- One employer who is so far successful with offering the benefit, Clif Bar & Company, offers on-site child care by teaming up with a local child care services provider that handles the operations and compliance issues. Employees pay for the service, but at 15-20% lower rates than "comparable area facilities," Fast Company reported.
- Other options for companies that want to offer child care but find offering on-site care too expensive or complex include offering subsidies or "back-up child care" arrangements in case a parent's child care arrangement for the day falls through for whatever reason.
While the recruitment benefits of being able to say "We have an on-site child care facility" is high, actually arranging such a benefit requires space, furniture, supplies, toys and increased insurance. Workers' compensation for child care providers is an entirely different beast from typical "desk job" worker's comp, Fast Company noted. Liability is a particular issue, particularly if the company wants to offer all-day infant or toddler care on top of after-school care.
Companies may be able to claim a tax credit of up to 25% of "facility expenditures" plus 10% of "resource and referral expenditures" up to $150,000 – but the facility must operate for 10 years or the credit will have to be returned. But also, studies have shown that employee performance was higher among employees using on-site child care than employees using an off-site center or who had no children.
The cost of monthly child care for two children now surpasses the cost of rent in some parts of the country, meaning companies that want to be seen as family friendly may want to look into offering similar perks.
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