Childcare for Hospital Employees: A "Must Have" that Creates an Effective Workplace
Written by Jesse Galt
Childcare for Hospital Employees: A “Must Have” that Creates an Effective Workplace
In 1983, The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article with the title "Hospitals Should Provide DayCare for Children of Employees."
The article started off with a list of common hospital problems, including a late secretary, a substitute nurse who isn't familiar with the facility or a resident who's scrambling to find someone to watch his child.
The article goes on to state that the common thread between all the problems is the lack of daycare. The article argued that by offering day care, hospitals could improve worker productivity, decrease turnover and help with recruitment. Although there were already hospitals in the 80s that offered day care to their staff, this article was published because it wasn't a very widespread practice.
Fast-forward to the present, and it's not difficult to see that child care for hospital employees has come a long way.
For example, Stanford Hospital offers two part-time nursery schools, as well as two full-time child care programs to all of its employees.
And at Florida Hospital Waterman, the child care center stays open thirteen hours a day to ensure that employees with longer shifts are still able to take full advantage of this resource.
Is On-Site Child Care the Right Fit for Your Hospital?
According to the Maryland Child Care Resource Network, more than 65% of workers have at least one young child. Whether a worker is a single parent or half of a dual income family, quality and reliable child care is a top priority among this majority of the population.
In addition to the obvious convenience, one of the reasons so many parents prefer this child care option to all others is because it gives them closer access to their children, as well as their children's teachers. If a problem ever arises, parents can be immediately alerted and brought into the situation.
The main consideration hospitals have to make about whether or not to offer on-site child care is it does require a large initial investment, as well as ongoing funding.
Additionally, extensive research and planning needs to be done before the project can actually get started. And once the facility is complete, it will need to be prepped.
In terms of staffing an on-site center, hiring professional staff or contracting with a child care management firm are the two most common options.
And as far as tax incentives, while the initial expenses aren't deductible, they can be amortized or depreciated. Also, depending on where your hospital is located, it may be eligible for state tax credits.
Keep in mind that even if an on-site program isn't the right fit for your hospital, there are still other options you can consider.
Those options include responsive personnel policies, flexible benefit plans, resource and referral programs, consortium center, or a reimbursement program.
With any of those options, not only will they greatly benefit current employees, but they are all attractive perks that can be used when recruiting new employees.
So, how receptive is your hospital to hiring workers who have or who are expecting children?
About the Author
Jesse Galt is a freelancer who writes about a wide range of topics, including how parents can save on purchases like diaper bags and formula.