Cost Benefits of Extended Hours Child Care
Nearly 30% of American women work evening and weekend hours and 46% of shiftworkers rely on their spouse or partner for child care (a phenomena known as “split-shift parenting”). Yet, only 12% of employers report that extended hours daycare is available to their shiftworking employees. The result? A clear link to decreased productivity, poor retention and high levels of absenteeism.
Child care benefits offer major opportunity to curb related costs:
Costs associated with absenteeism in extended hours operations decreased by $300 annually per employee if some form of extended hours child care was available. Various studies find that providing extended hours childcare can reduce the absenteeism rate by an average of 20 percent.
Turnover rates among extended hour employees decreased to 7.7 percent from 9.3 percent when extended hours child care services were available, due in part to improved employee loyalty and morale. Given the $25,000 average cost of recruiting and training each new extended hour employee, this represents a savings opportunity.
Overtime at extended hours operations decreased by a third (from 12 to 8 percent) when extended hours child care was available in the vicinity of the workplace — presumably due to a lower need for co-workers to cover for absences due to another employee’s child care problems.
In a hypothetical example, a facility with 1,000 workers achieved a 22 percent return on investment three years after opening an on-site child care center. After five years the estimated return rose to 100 percent.
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