Full disclosure: As a working mom of two, I’d be willing to lose a finger just to have employer-supported child care, so count me among the yays in the latest Workplace Options survey that finds 48% of working parents would feel more freedom to concentrate on work and home responsibilities if their employer provided support for child care. Another 50% say knowing they had back-up care options when their regular provider is unavailable would help them feel less stressed.

“The day care needs of working parents have changed. It’s no longer a matter of finding 9-to-5 care for preschoolers and infants. Employees are working longer hours, which creates needs that regular day care providers can’t meet,” says Dean Debnam, CEO for Workplace Options. “Knowing you have a fall-back plan for child care can be very liberating for working parents -- particularly in the summer when schedules and plans are more unpredictable.”

My kids still are small, so child care is a year-round concern, not just one that strikes during the summer months. And in my family’s case at least, Debnam is absolutely right: Unfortunately for me and my little ones, sometimes 9 to 5 care just isn’t enough. And I know we’re not alone.

I know times are tight financially, but I also know you’re asking your workers to do more with less to, and the runoff from that request/demand hits their families head-on. Supporting workers’ child care needs could go a long way to getting more productivity and loyalty out of them at a time when both are at a premium.  

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