Okay, I thought we all needed a brief respite from health care reform. So, we’re going waaaay in the opposite direction today with results from a new study by work-life provider SitterCity, which claims to have noted a “SitterCity effect” among employers using its child/elder/pet care resource services.

Apparently, there is a positive organizational impact of an employer-paid benefit for helping employees find in-home caregivers. 

Employees who used the benefit to find in-home caregivers reported that it has significantly affected their productivity, ability to meet work demands and ability to remain in the workforce. Among the firm’s study findings:

* Respondents reported they were able to work an average of 10 additional hours per month they would not have otherwise been able to because of access to the benefit.

* 70% of respondents report that access to the benefit has helped them meet work demands.

* 58% of respondents report that access to in-home babysitters and nannies helped them remain in the workforce as a working parent.

Respondents reported using the benefit to meet a variety of care needs during work hours including:

* Before- and after-school care (27%).

* Extended or unusual work hours including travel (29%).

* Newborn and infant childcare (21%).

* School vacations and holidays (20%).

“This is the latest innovation in employer-paid child care benefits and fills a critical need for working families. Our study, The Sittercity Effect, proves that helping employees find the right babysitter or nanny gives them the support they need to get to and be productive at work,” says said Melissa Anderson, vice president of Sittercity’s Corporate Division. “Our innovative benefit has broken new ground in the work-life arena and the financial payoff for companies is proven in the survey data.”

To be fair, SitterCity does have one of the fastest-growing work-life benefits in the U.S. today, with more than 3 million Americans having access to the company’s services through their employer.

Among the firm’s clients are the federal government, MasterCard, Verizon, Sanofi-Aventis, Northwestern University and more.

But impressive client roster aside, is it realistic to say the company has captured its own “effect”? What say you, pros? Have you noticed such an impact from work-life programs, especially when it comes to child care? Would having independent proof of a “SitterCity effect” push you toward implementing such a program? Do you just want us to get back to talking about health care?

More health care reform news tomorrow, I promise. Meanwhile, have at it in the Comments.

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