It's Working Parents Day! Parents get support from employers through employee childcare benefits.

National Working Parents Day is a holiday to celebrate parents who manage a delicate work-life balance, raising children while holding down one or more jobs.

While the origins of Working Parents Day are unknown, it represents a day of appreciation for all the hard work and dedication that working parents do, day in and day out, for their families, their employers, and society at large.

Wondering when is Working Parents Day? It’s always on September 16. This year, Working Parents Day is Friday, September 16, 2022.

Organizations are encouraged to create an event around this holiday to recognize all the working parents on the team. Working parents themselves can take this opportunity to take the day off and celebrate with their family or indulge in some much-needed self-care. And older kids are able to contribute to the appreciation of their parents by giving a meaningful gift or taking on more responsibilities around the house.

It’s clear why Working Parents Day is important, not just for parents but families, employers, and communities more broadly.

Who are working parents?

Working families are a diverse group of people, sharing the common attribute of being a family unit with adults working to support the needs of children. Working parents are not only moms and dads anymore, with other adults stepping into these once-narrowly defined roles.

Who are called working parents these days?

  • Mothers
    • Women in the workforce who have a child, or multiple children, that they’re responsible for. Working moms typically juggle a massive workload, from their paying job to all the various unpaid work they are tasked with to raise their family.
  • Fathers
    • Men in the workforce who have a child, or multiple kids, they are responsible for. Working dads manage their day-to-day job while also raising children. While current fathers are more involved than previous generations, studies consistently show that working dads still handle considerably less of the unpaid workload at home compared to mothers.
  • Guardians
    • A person with the legal right and responsibility to take care of someone. In some families, working parents might be a child’s legal guardian. Guardians can be an older sibling, an aunt, uncle, family friend, or another person invested in the well-being and future of a child.
  • Grandparents
    • A parent of a parent. Sometimes, grandparents can be as or more involved in a grandchild’s life than the kid’s actual parents, or have to step in to raise the child. Working parents come in many forms, even grandparents working to earn a living while raising their grandchildren.

Why is it important to support working families?

Working families are a crucial part of a functioning American society and economy, contributing in social and financial ways to overall growth. By supporting working families, we show that we value our current populations as well as future generations.

Without proper support, working families struggle, mothers leave the workforce, and economic growth is stunted. The status quo simply isn’t doing nearly enough to help working parents navigate the challenges of raising kids while remaining maximally productive for their employers.

In order for working parents and their organizations to reach their full potential, more support is needed to address inherent problems caused by childcare issues ranging from lack of access to affordability to a dearth of backup care.

What benefits can working parents receive from employers?

Employers have a large role to play in supporting working parents and can do so with a variety of childcare benefits for employees.

  • Childcare assistance
    • For many working families, simply finding quality, affordable childcare can seem impossible. There is a shortage of caregivers and daycare spots fill up quickly. Working parents need a helping hand here and employers can make a difference in their employees’ lives by offering childcare assistance. A childcare assistance program provides working parents with a vast childcare network and dedicated care manager to help them locate, meet, and secure the best caregivers that fit their family’s unique needs.
  • Backup care
    • Some families already have a regular childcare solution in place, yet need help when childcare plans change unexpectedly. That’s where backup childcare from their employer comes in. With backup care credits, employees can access childcare on days when there is an emergency, or their caregiver is sick and unavailable as planned. Backup care is important for working parents to remain productive and not miss too many days of work throughout the year.
  • Childcare subsidies
    • Childcare is incredibly expensive, making it unaffordable for a great deal of working families. Here, too, employers can step in to support their workforce with a childcare stipend, or subsidy. With the goal of off-setting a portion or all of an employee’s childcare costs, organizations can change lives while helping to ensure their working parents are more productive, engaged, and satisfied in the long run.

What happens when employers don’t offer childcare benefits?

If employees aren’t supported with employer-sponsored childcare benefits, there are several negative effects that result for the organization.

  • Absenteeism
    • Without reliable childcare in place, working parents will miss more time at work than their peers, causing employers to lose valuable hours to a preventable cause.
  • Presenteeism
    • Similarly, even when working parents are present and available, they are more likely to be more distracted due to childcare responsibilities and therefore less productive. In one study, 54% of working parents reported being distracted at work.
  • Turnover and replacement costs
    • Not surprisingly, when working parents can’t find adequate childcare, they may be forced to leave their jobs. It is very costly to replace good employees, so employers who don’t offer childcare benefits deal with increased turnover challenges and preventable replacement costs.

Upwards is the largest childcare network in America and a leading provider of employee childcare benefits. We work with employers every day to figure out the right childcare benefits program to address organizational challenges, support working families, and maximize ROI.

Upwards’ Childcare Assistance program helps employees access convenient, quality care and solves the everyday childcare dilemma facing so many working parents.

Our backup care program provides credits that working parents can utlize for a full day of unplanned childcare. This can be a game changer for families that allows parents to keep working, even when regular childcare plans fall through.

Upwards offers childcare stipends for employers to provide their workforce with a subsidy that can help offset the exorbitant childcare expenses many families grapple with. Childcare stipends allow more working parents to actually afford childcare and stay productive on the job.

As we celebrate National Working Parents Day, it’s important to reflect on the immense obstacles working families overcome on a daily basis, with childcare concerns near the top of the list.

Let’s take this opportunity to acknowledge all the labor, paid and unpaid, that working parents contribute to society. Without their efforts every day, things would not be the same.

Thank you to all the working parents across this country who are doing their best to grow their careers and nurture the next generation.

If you have any questions or comments about childcare benefits for employees, please feel free to reach us at

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