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Workplace Child Care
The world of business and economy has changed significantly over the last century. It was unusual for both partners in a marriage to work outside of the home just 50 years ago. In 2011, however, almost half (47.5%) of all the families in the United States had two working parents (Finn, 2013). This figure is likely to rise with every passing year. There are at least two main factors that contribute to this: The increased ability of women to enter the workplace on the same level as men in terms of profession choice and salarly, and on the other hand, the increasing difficulty of families to make ends meet on a single salary, which does not increase to match inflation rates. Hence, while women have become empowered to expand themselves not only domestically, but also economically, this empowerment has, in the case of many families, become a necessity. Another phenomenon that affects the workplace today is single-parent families, where single mothers or single fathers are the sole contributors to the household income. The common factor here is children. Many workers today have at least one preschool child in a situation where they need to arrange child care services in order to be able to go to work. Because this is such a rapidly rising phenomenon, many workplaces have implemented on-site child care service, because these tended to reduce employee turnover and workplace absences, while increasing employee happiness and focus.
In other words, companies and managers would significantly benefit from on-site child care facilities. Providing such a facility would create an environment in which workers can achieve a better work-life balance. It would also improve the relationship workers have with their managers, since the latter will create an environment in which workers are appreciated for their effort. This will also creat a greater sense of work satisfaction. In general, the benefits of such a facility far outweigh is disadvantages, since at least half of employees have small children in need of care facilities.
In business today, there has been an incraesing focus on providing an environment in which employees can achieve a good balance between their professional and home lives (BASF, 2013). For the majority of workers, his means spending sufficient time with their families. Often, however, the ideal of a perfect work-life balance is challenged by factors like the birth of a new child, child illness, or other unforeseen difficulties that may arise with child care. In fact, according to Casey and Dobbs (2007), a survey conducted in 2005 found that 64% of workers who brough their children to work did so because of a lack of available child care. Bringing children to work creates a distraction not only for the parents, but also for other workers and customers. All these factors can create a sense of employee dissatisfaction and anxiety.
One of the best ways to handle such dissatisfaction is by creating an environment in which employee's concerns are taken into account and undersood. One element of such an environment would be a child care facility at the worksite. Providing such a facility at a lower cost would benefit not only employees, but also employers, since it will create a pool of happier employees who could focus better on their work. Indeed, Casey and Dobbs (2007) note that thousands of work hours can be saved in this way. In fact, the first year of the CIBC Children's Center, used by some 800 employees, resulted in a saving of 2,528 work days, which is the equivalent of about 10 years of work. Economically, this translates to thousands of dollars, which is an important consideration in any business.
This document is therefore created with the purpose of providing a rationale for the implementation of an on-site child care facility at the workplace. While this would likely be a costly endeavor, it is also true that the benefits would most likely offset the costs in terms of lower employee turnover rates and saved work hours.
In the last few decades, an increasing amount of workers have been obliged to balance their professional endeavors with their home lives. For people with young children, this is particularly challenging, since child care is often not only costly, but children are also unpredictable in terms of illness or other issues. This creates significant worker anxiety which can affect the quality of the work performed. Hence, there is a lack of balance between life and work, where neither truly provides the employee with complete satisfaction.
From the employer's perspective, basic human rights and simple practical considerations prevents hiring only workers with grown children. Many work hours are lost as a result of parental anxiety over their children, especially when they are very young. Furthermore, if an employee's work quality suffers, it tarnishes the reputation of the company as a whole.
The situation around child care challenges therefore creates mutual disadvantages for employees and employers alike. It is therefore proposed that an on-site child care facility might mitigate many of these difficulties for both employers and employees. It is, however, important to consider this from the perspective of all stakeholders.
There are three main stakeholders who are affected by the proposed solutions: The employer, the employee, and child care providers.
From the perspective of the employer, providing on-site child care facilities holds both advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages include increased loyalty to the organization, a higher level of productivity and higher morale (Casey and Dobbs, 2007). According to Magloff (2013), employers also save on reduced employee absenteeism and a reduced need to hire temporary replacements when female workers take maternity leave. The advantages to the company are therefore both financial and material. Employees with greater loyalty and higher morale, in general, would not only be more productive, they would also deliver better quality work. The potential savings in work hours and training can also offset some of the costs in implmenting the facility.
This is, in fact, the main drawback of implementing an on-site child care facility. The cost can be prohibitive in terms of creating space for the facility, purchasing equipment such as furniture, entertainment centers, and educational items. Child care provider salaries will also add to the costs of the facility. These costs will have to be measured against the benefits to determine the viability of the project (Hahn, 2013).
For employees, the advantages are significant. Assuming that the employer will hire a child care provider who is reputable, employees will receive advantages such as lower stress levels, less commuting time, and a higher level of job satisfaction (Hein and Cassirer, 2010). A further advantage is that children are close by; if something happens, like an accident or illness, the parent does not need to take time explaining the situation or commuting to the child care facility.
From the perspective of child care providers, work opportunities will increase when workplaces implement on-site facilities. Partnerships with child care facilities can also benfit these facilities by creating extra income and business.
Implementation costs are likely to be high and need to be carefully offset against what will be gained in terms of saved work hours, hiring, and training requirements (Magloff, 2013). In a company where most workers have young children, for example, the facility would be more valid than one in which only one or two have preschool age youngsters.
Furthermore, the facilities can be sponsored by employees to a certain extent, where costs are lower than for external healh care providers. These fees can also offset the initial costs of implementation.
Implementation will also involve hiring day care providers to fill positions at the facility. This can be done by partnerships with existing daycare facilities or by placing job advertisements. At least one parent from the company should…[continue]
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