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Childcare Benefits Lead to Reduced Employee Absenteeism – But Only 12% of Americans Have Access to Them

Last Updated April 2, 2024 3:49 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Last Updated April 2, 2024 3:49 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Only 12% of American employees have access to childcare benefits, a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) finds.
  • Moms First reveals a 425% return on investment (ROI) for companies offering childcare benefits.
  • Access to childcare benefits leads to a happier workforce, increased productivity, and better retention rates.

Businesses are discovering the economic benefits of investing in childcare benefits for their employees amid a child care crisis in the US.

A collaborative study between Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the nonprofit organization Moms First reveals child care support not only benefits working parents but also significantly enhances company performance. Despite the clear advantages, a staggering 88% of American workers reportedly remain without access to the essential service.

Economic Impact of Child Care Benefits

The BCG and Moms First report  notes that the lack of childcare support is not just a personal issue for employees but an economic challenge for employers. The study outlines that when employees lack reliable child care, their ability to contribute effectively at work is compromised, leading to increased absenteeism and decreased productivity. Therefore, companies are at a disadvantage, missing out on the full potential of their workforce.

Reshma Saujani, CEO of Moms First, and Emily Kos, a BCG Managing Director, emphasize the critical need for businesses to view childcare benefits as a strategic investment rather than an expense. The study showcases five companies that are leading the way in childcare benefits, demonstrating a compelling up to 425% ROI for businesses that choose to invest in the well-being of their employees’ families.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes  that every month, up to 100,000 Americans are unable to attend work due to issues related to child care. As per media reports , the survival of childcare centers is threatened in the US due to the pandemic, economic challenges, and drying federal funding.

Workers Not At Work Due to Child Care Issues | Source:
Workers Not At Work Due to Child Care Issues | Source:US Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can Benefits Help Business?

The benefits of providing childcare support are manifold as per the study. Employees with access to child care benefits report higher job satisfaction, are more likely to stay with their employer, and see positive impacts on their career progression. The study found that:

  • 86% of working parents are more likely to remain with their current employer due to child care benefits.
  • Up to 78% of these parents report positive impacts on their careers.
  • Companies offering child care support see reduced employee absenteeism by up to 16 days per year.

CCN spoke to a former journalist and a full-time mother to her two daughters, 6 and 10 years old. She shared that her children’s grandparents came to the US because it takes ‘a village’ to raise a child. She quit her job as soon as her first daughter was born and is now finding it difficult to re-enter the workforce after all this time.

Child Care is an Employer Issue

Highlighted within the report are success stories from companies that saw reduced annual absences and positive impact on both personal and professional levels.

The study presses on the need to offer child care benefits as the child care crisis continues to pose challenges for working parents across the US.

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