Emergency Child Care Boosts Employee Job Satisfaction and Retention


More than six in ten employees experienced problems with childcare arrangements last year, according to a survey by Bright Horizons, which indicates that access to backup childcare has a positive impact on the employee retention.

The research found that custody breakdowns were common, with 67% of respondents experiencing issues with childcare arrangements in the past year.

Bright Horizons said that although this figure is slightly lower than last year’s survey’s 71% amid shutdowns, it shows the need for short-notice childcare arrangements for workers, even when schools and early childhood establishments are open.

Of those who experienced these child care breakdowns, 58% had a breakdown of five days or more. Twenty-eight percent had a break in their child care arrangements for more than 10 days.

The Work+Family Snapshot 2022 survey, commissioned by work and education solutions provider Bright Horizons, also found that 58% of employees said family had become a higher priority in the past 12 months. However, career progression was also a priority for respondents, with 31% saying it had become more important to them over the past year.

Bright Horizons said “Employers looking to attract and retain talent in a tight labor market will need to plan proactively to meet these two employee priorities.”

The email survey was conducted in February and March and received 1,502 employee responses from 186 of Bright Horizons’ more than 400 UK customers who use respite care, workplace crèches or crèche partnerships in the workplace (places facilitated by the employer in crèches close to the site).

Nurseries and care in the workplace

Respondents to the survey had a range of care responsibilities from childcare to elderly care, including those in the ‘sandwich generation’ with both.

Research has shown a clear link between employer-sponsored caregiving and a positive impact on a range of factors, including productivity, general well-being and stress reduction, and returning to work after a leave to have a baby or adopt.

Seventy percent of respondents said they would be more likely to recommend their employer to others based solely on access to Bright Horizons Work+Family services.

This figure rises to 75% for those who used employer-sponsored workplace nurseries or childcare partnerships and to 88% for those who used supportive care.

When comparing the results of the Work+Family snapshot to Spotlight on the 2022 Modern Families Indexwho surveyed the general population, 81% of employees at Bright Horizons clients agreed that their manager cared about their work-home balance, compared to just 62% of the general population.

Denise Priest, Executive Director of Work and Family Solutions at Bright Horizons, said: “Family-friendly employers who provide tangible support to employees, such as providing back-up care for that clear majority of employees who are experiencing breakdowns in child, adult or elder care plans are not only seeing the positive impact on employee engagement scores, but the numbers here show it is also helping employers in their retirement planning. succession and their talent pool.

“Integrating the family further helps reduce the gender pay gap, with people returning from parental leave and people with family responsibilities being better able to accept promotions and job progression. positive career, regardless of gender.

“This research with our customers’ employees shows that access to ongoing support and care is a good business decision while benefiting employees. Employers who already provide these services are ahead of the game when it comes to talent retention.

More than half (53%) of respondents said they are rethinking their overall direction and sense of purpose more than before.

This was seen particularly among employees over the age of 55, where 63% of those in this age group said they were rethinking their goal.

Bright Horizons said this “should sound alarm bells” for employers who want to retain these experienced workers but have not yet developed a strategy to do so.

Hybrid work

Just 4% of employees surveyed said they would like to work entirely from the workplace, with the vast majority saying their ideal preference would be to work from home for at least half of the week – that figure rose to 82% this year, up from 79% last year.

Twenty percent would favor an equal split between home and workplace and 18% would like to work exclusively from home.

Priest added: “While expectations and new ways of working may still crystallize as employers and employees adapt to the post-pandemic world, it is important to recognize that not all work roles can be hybrid, such as those in a hospital or manufacturing plant. However, there is a clear direction for forward-thinking employers to note.

Dora W. Clawson