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Most parents are sleep-deprived on some level, especially working parents. What about your overnight employees? How can they find childcare, get enough rest, and remain productive at work? Home daycare may be the answer.
Working families with evening and overnight shifts need childcare just as much, if not more than employees who work more conventional schedules. Childcare is not a one-size-fits-all issue and home daycares offer built-in flexibility to provide care during non-traditional work hours.
The inherent versatility of home daycares is a crucial component of any employee childcare benefits program for organizations with an overnight workforce in order to support everyone equally.
Schedule a few minutes with Upwards to learn more about the best childcare benefit programs to support your overnight employees with.
Overnight workers deserve care benefits too
Working parents with overnight jobs are dealing with a lot and often get overlooked in terms of services like childcare. These employees and families need our full support and attention to set them up for success.
Who exactly works overnight shifts and needs support in the form of employee childcare benefits? Hospital workers, security guards, janitors, airport employees, and those working in the hospitality industry are just some of the people filling integral roles for society to function properly. These invaluable workers make it possible for vital systems and critical infrastructure to run smoothly.
If you employ overnight workers and are planning to implement employee childcare benefits, the program should accommodate their needs. Unique scheduling will be quite high on the list of relevant information that should be taken into consideration.
The home daycare model = flexible, affordable childcare
Home daycares are an excellent childcare choice for just about any family, with some particularly convenient features baked in that help overnight employees.
So what makes a daycare a home daycare? Home daycares, also commonly referred to as in-home daycare or family childcare, are state-licensed childcare facilities operated out of caregivers’ homes. These local childcare providers are your neighbors around the corner, the person behind you in line at the grocery store, and your fellow parents in the community.
Because home daycare providers are running a small business out of their home, they have more flexibility with their schedules. They can more easily operate outside of the standard 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. time frame of most larger daycare centers. With home daycares, working parents will find earlier drop-off and later pick-up times, as well as the possibility of evening, weekend, and overnight care.
In addition to their schedule flexibility, home daycares also feature
- Better affordability: Home daycares are, on average, up to 40% more affordable than large daycare centers. For employers, childcare benefits programs featuring home daycares are also more affordable and cost-effective as well.
- Childcare for school-aged children: Many daycares and childcare centers essentially only cater to children up to age five, leaving out families with childcare needs for their school-aged children. Home daycares can accommodate families with children up to age 12. These working families still need childcare for their 6 - 12 year olds during non-school hours of the day plus over holidays and summer break.
- More convenient locations: Instead of commuting to one singular daycare center that may not be that close to home or work, families can often find multiple home daycare options near them for a much more convenient childcare experience.
How to support overnight employees
For overnight workers and their employers who are trying to offer childcare benefits, the reality is that certain types of childcare are simply not going to be an effective solution.
Traditional on-site daycares, for example, do not serve working families who are juggling overnight shifts and their childcare responsibilities at the same time. So on-site daycare centers can be crossed off the list of viable options.
Similarly, standard childcare benefit programs may fall short by not covering anything beyond basic care. Overnight employees need childcare during non-traditional hours and services outside of basic care, such as emergency/backup care.
Childcare can be stressful under any circumstances and working overnight hours already complicates family life. Not being able to find suitable, affordable childcare could be the last straw that leads your overnight employee to leave their job.
Home daycares solve the childcare dilemma for overnight workers
Unlike traditional on-site daycare centers, home daycares provide the flexible childcare that overnight employees need to balance work and family. Organizations looking to support their entire workforce, including overnight workers, should find an employer-sponsored childcare benefits program featuring home daycares that offer this built-in flexibility.
As a more affordable childcare option for most families, home daycares better fit the budgets for a wide-range of overnight employee salaries. Choosing home daycares as part of your employee childcare benefits program is a more inclusive way to support your diverse workforce.
Another feature of home daycares is that they’re often easier to physically get to when picking up a child after a long shift at work. For rural employees, home daycares are more likely to be a shorter drive from home compared to an on-site daycare center.
For urban and suburban employees, the proximity from home to a convenient home daycare location can be even closer. It’s not uncommon for families to live within walking distance of their local home daycare provider’s house. This convenience and efficiency is important after any work shift, but especially following a very tiring, overnight shift.
As an employer with overnight employees, you’re going to best be able to support your workforce by choosing a flexible, affordable childcare benefits program that includes home daycares. This type of childcare can better fit the unique needs of your working families.
Choosing the right childcare network for your workforce
Throughout the research and education phase of your employee childcare benefits process, it’s important to start narrowing down your childcare network options.
Upwards built the largest network of childcare providers in the U.S. and is a leader in the childcare benefits space, leveraging technology and experience to create affordable employee childcare benefits for organizations of all levels. At the core of our network is over 6,000 licensed home daycare providers, in addition to 50,000+ nannies and babysitters. Our employee childcare benefits programs range from childcare assistance and backup care to childcare stipends.
Upwards’ Childcare Assistance program helps families discover and access high-quality, affordable childcare providers in their neighborhood. Full and partial stipends help offset childcare costs for employees. Backup care supports working families when the unexpected arises and childcare plans are disrupted at the last minute. As an employer, you’re able to customize these programs to mix-and-match the offerings that best suit your workforce.
Feel free to reach us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org to kick off the employee childcare benefits conversation.
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.