How Do Employee Childcare Benefits Help With Hiring?

Want to attract the most talented and valuable employees? There are many benefits your business can offer to help you do just that, but offering employer-sponsored childcare might be one of the most effective ways to differentiate yourself in a crowded market.

Many working parents struggle with childcare issues, including finding quality care and paying for it. Childcare benefits provide families with relief and offer a competitive edge for businesses looking to attract top talent.

Employees seek childcare network benefits to:

  • Feel supported at work
  • Improve their work-life balance
  • Afford childcare

Employers offer childcare benefits for employees because these programs:

  • Increase employee productivity
  • Foster more employee engagement
  • Help retain and attract top talent

Employees seek childcare network benefits to:

  • Feel supported at work: Not only does feeling supported make employees more likely to be engaged and productive, it can also help them avoid burnout and boost their mental health. All of which are very important in today’s workplace.
  • Improve their work-life balance: Having suitable childcare in place helps working parents manage the inherently tricky balance between their work lives and everyday life outside of the job.
  • Afford childcare: Finding affordable childcare is incredibly challenging for most working families. That’s why employees are looking for more support from their employers to access an affordable childcare network of caregivers and potentially offset their childcare costs.

Employers offer childcare benefits for employees because these programs:

  • Increase employee productivity: Without proper childcare, working parents are more distracted on the job and miss more time to manage their childcare responsibilities. Employee childcare benefit programs promote positive productivity improvements across the organization.
  • Foster more employee engagement: Comprehensive care benefits result in a happier, more engaged workforce. This is beneficial to foster more productivity and better quality work.
  • Help retain and attract top talent: In a very competitive hiring environment, every advantage helps. Employees are more likely to stay at their company longer or seek new opportunities with employers offering employee childcare benefits.

While it was often overlooked, we’ve realized throughout the pandemic that without suitable childcare in place, working families can’t work effectively. In many cases, parents simply cannot continue working at all.

Contact Upwards to explore adding childcare benefits that help retain your current employees and attract new talent to join your workforce.

The Great Resignation empowers employees

Rarely have we seen ongoing economic trends with as much impact as the Great Resignation, or the Great Reshuffle, with millions of Americans quitting their jobs en masse. Initially, there was a surge caused by a backlog of resignations from workers who didn’t leave throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.*

These employees left their jobs because they were unhappy, completely burned out, and reassessing their lives. In the U.S. in 2021 alone, more than 47 million people quit their jobs.

With so many employees voluntarily resigning over the course of the pandemic, we are in uncharted territory where job candidates have more power than before and are demanding better family benefits.

Employers are trying to lure talent with more hiring incentives like flexible work schedules, hybrid/remote options, mental health days, and family planning services. One incentive that still gets overlooked at times is employee childcare benefits.

Why do employees want childcare benefits?

Employee childcare benefits are an attractive selling point for working families. Employers have started to take notice of late, with 42% planning to introduce or expand childcare benefits programs over the next year.

Employees covet childcare benefits so much because they:

  • Improve the quality of life in the workplace: When workers feel supported and childcare is crossed off their list of concerns, they feel better about their employers and their role in the organization.
  • Demonstrate an employer’s commitment to work-life balance: Working parents will have difficulty focusing at work if their childcare situation is unsettled. If they can utilize childcare benefits to help ensure their kids are being taken care of while they’re at work, employees can strike a healthier work-life balance.
  • Provide financial relief for families: The high cost of childcare puts a financial strain on the average working family and causes hardships that can be long-lasting. A comprehensive childcare benefits program from their employer can be a game-changer for families struggling to afford the care they need to stay at work.

Employers looking for an edge on their competition can leverage employee childcare benefits like backup care and childcare stipends for a hiring advantage.

What types of childcare are parents seeking?

Working parents are asking for more family-friendly childcare benefits. With more employers exploring their employee childcare benefits options, what types of childcare are parents looking for?

  • In-home daycare: Also called home daycares or family childcare providers (FCCs), in-home daycare is a form of childcare where licensed caregivers provide care from their own homes. Typically, family childcare providers offer smaller class sizes, more flexible and after-hours schedules, convenient neighborhood locations, and better affordability for families.
  • Nannies: Some working parents prefer a full-time nanny to care for their children at home. Nannies often have experience with kids of different ages and can be a huge asset to working families who can afford their personalized childcare services. Families may seek a nanny share arrangement, where multiple families share the same nanny to afford this specialized type of caregiver better.
  • Babysitters: Similar to nannies, babysitters offer families childcare at home or on the go. Babysitters bring experience and flexibility to working families who need compassionate caregivers for their kiddos so they can maintain their career.

What are the top 3 types of benefits parents want?

As you look to gain that hiring edge on your competitors and out-recruit other employers, it’s important to know what sort of employee childcare benefits working parents are looking for.

If home daycares, nannies, and babysitters are popular forms of childcare, what kind of employee childcare benefits do working parents want most?

  1. Backup care: For some families with an existing childcare plan in place, having emergency/backup care is the most pressing need. Backup care is childcare that can’t be planned for in advance — when an employee’s typical childcare falls through (daycare is closed, the babysitter is out sick, etc.) at the last minute, for instance, they can still find care. Employers can offer a specified number of backup care credits for employees, who then utilize them when their unanticipated childcare needs arise.
  2. Childcare stipends: For parents struggling to afford childcare, an employer-sponsored childcare stipend can be the lifeline that finally lets them balance their books and work their way out of the red. Organizations can specify full or partial childcare stipends, in monthly or annual amounts, for employees to use accordingly as a way to offset their exorbitant childcare costs.
  3. Childcare assistance: Simply finding quality, affordable childcare remains the biggest challenge for many working parents. A childcare assistance program supports employees by providing a large childcare network and 1:1 care manager to help them discover and access the best local childcare options available in their area.

How do childcare benefits also benefit employers?

It’s no secret among HR and benefits circles that adding childcare benefits is a win-win for employers. This is the case because employee childcare benefits:

  • Encourage engagement: Employees supported with employer-sponsored childcare benefits feel more positive and engaged at their organizations.
  • Improve productivity: Working parents can be significantly more productive when they are not distracted by managing childcare issues during their work hours.
  • Help attract and retain talent: In a very tight labor market, employers are competing for the best candidates. Offering incentives in the form of care benefits like childcare can make the difference in retaining current employees and hiring the best new talent at your organization.

Clearly, childcare benefits for employees help employers with hiring. The specific type of employer-sponsored childcare benefits needed is what each organization is figuring out. The biggest takeaway is that you can get a hiring boost by offering these valuable care benefits that job seekers are looking for.

Want to learn about Upwards' Childcare Benefits?
Childcare AssistanceBackup CareChildcare Stipends
Dedicated care manager to provide 24/7 concierge supportEmergency childcare when regular care falls throughOffset the cost of childcare-related expenses for employees

How to begin offering the right childcare benefits

As the largest childcare network in America, Upwards is a leading provider of employee childcare benefits. The core of our childcare network is made up of over 6,000 licensed in-home daycare providers and 50,000+ nannies and babysitters. Our carefully vetted caregivers offer high-quality, affordable childcare that works for both employees and employers.

Upwards’ employee childcare benefits programs include offerings from childcare assistance and stipends to backup care.

Our Childcare Assistance program helps working families find and access affordable, high-quality childcare. Upwards’ full and partial childcare stipends enable employers to assist employees with childcare costs. We also provide backup and emergency care to support families when the unexpected happens and their regular childcare plans change at the last minute. Employers are able to mix-and-match these program offerings to create the customized childcare benefits needed that best fit each unique workforce.

Let Upwards’ childcare benefits help you stand out from the crowd and create more interest from top job candidates around the country.

We are always here to begin the conversation, answer any questions, or schedule a call at

*According to organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz, who coined the term “Great Resignation.”


The largest childcare network in the United States, providing access to quality, affordable childcare to families nationwide. We support childcare providers in operating sustainable businesses through a technology-based marketplace and partner with government entities to improve access to care. Upwards also helps employers of all sizes offer their employees childcare benefits. Our mission is to help all families care for their children — not just those who can afford it.

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