Kids at Work: The Value of Employer-Sponsored On-Site Child Care Centers

Kids at Work: The Value of Employer-Sponsored On-Site Child Care Centers

Kids at Work: The Value of Employer-Sponsored On-Site Child Care Centers

Kids at Work: The Value of Employer-Sponsored On-Site Child Care Centers

Synopsis

This book examines the value of employer-sponsored on-site child care programs toemployees.

Excerpt

I am not a feminist per se nor a bleeding heart liberal, though many
people think I am. I am an opportunist, a pragmatist to the nth degree.
There is no benefit in this company that we don't feel doesn't have a bot
tom line advantage or payback.

—Company owner whose family-owned firm operates an on-site
child care center for 85 employee children and grandchildren,
including his own grandchild.

The last 25 years have witnessed a decline in the growth rate of the U.S. population. There have also been economic and social forces, such as welfare reform, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the continuing stagnation of wages of men with less than a college education, which have encouraged women to enter the labor market in ever-increasing numbers. As a result, much of the growth in the U.S. labor market has come from women and, in recent years, from a dramatic increase in the labor force participation of mothers with young children. The increased participation of this segment is also expected to be a substantial component of growth in the labor force for the next two decades. This trend has created a rising demand for child care and a greater level of work/family conflict for U.S. families with young children. All indications are that these effects of increasing women's labor force participation will continue in the near future.

Firms in the 1990s faced an inherently tighter labor market than they had in the past because of changing demographics in the United States and due to the strong economy. To satisfy their staffing needs, employers strove to entice those not in the labor force to enter. Among the groups consciously targeted have been the elderly and women with young children. In terms of the latter group, one strategy used by a small but growing number of firms is to provide employer-sponsored child care (ESCC) as part of a menu of employee benefits. In 1978, the . . .

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