Offering child care pays off in talent development and retention

Margaret M. Teller learned early on that a child care benefit affects the workplace when her father, Dave McDonald, founded The Children’s Workshop in 1990. The company now has 19 schools and has grown revenue 30 percent since she took over in 2014. / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
Margaret M. Teller learned early on that a child care benefit affects the workplace when her father, Dave McDonald, founded The Children’s Workshop in 1990. The company now has 19 schools and has grown revenue 30 percent since she took over in 2014. / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Margaret M. Teller | The Children’s Workshop Inc. president and CEO

How well is your company competing for top talent in an economy that recently hit 3.8 percent unemployment? One way to stand out is to offer child care benefits.

As many working parents know all too well, full-time child care can cost upward of $15,000 per year in Rhode Island. Most people start families and have children at a point in their lives when they are still buried in student loan debt and are not yet at their highest earning potential. They certainly haven’t been able to save up for preschool.

The benefits to the company are significant and real: better recruitment, gender diversity in the workforce – including leadership positions, higher retention rates, lower absenteeism and higher productivity.

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There are tax credits and incentives, too. Employees feel peace of mind, a healthier work-life balance, and deeper engagement when they are confident their child is receiving high-quality care and education.

Despite an abundance of research that proves that brain development is most intense during the first five years of life, early education in America is delivered through a fragmented, mixed delivery system funded at nowhere near the level of K-12 education.

High-quality early education is an incredibly smart investment, which experts argue returns $13 to society for every dollar invested. But until now, parents alone have shouldered the high cost burden for far too long.

Offering meaningful child care benefits will help a company stand out as an employer that not only values its current workforce but is also willing to invest in education for the workforce of tomorrow.