Having a full-time career and being a parent isn’t easy, even in the best of times. While the COVID-19 pandemic left many working parents feeling overwhelmed with child care responsibilities, this is not a new problem. In pre-pandemic times, an astounding 43% of new mothers were leaving the labor force after having a baby.
Retention of parents depends on continuous company support that extends beyond parental leave. And today’s working parents want to work for companies that offer:
- Extensive child care assistance programs
- A robust and flexible family leave policy
- The creation of employee resource groups
- Empathy and understanding regarding the stressors that are part of parenthood
Below, we look at a handful of America’s top companies that are going above and beyond to ensure that working parents have the resources they need to excel in their professional and family lives.
Three Companies Providing the Best Working Environment for Parents
The best companies for working parents distinguish themselves by providing continuous and holistic support to parents throughout each step of family life. This, in turn, results in a better bottom line for the company, increased employee engagement, and improved retention levels.
Each of the companies listed below provides child care assistance programs that offer options such as fertility coverage, extensive parental leave policies, and support finding child care which inevitably back out to increases in business innovation and keeping top talent.
AMEX ranked ninth place in Maven HR’s Parents at the Best Workplaces study. This globally integrated payment company offers an enhanced benefits program that puts both parents and mental well-being front and center.
American Express actively supports parents by offering a gender-neutral paid parental leave of 20 weeks for both full and part-time employees; a benefit that has been highly praised by employees. Also, the company supports the working mother by assisting with leave and return-to-work transition, and free breast milk shipping while traveling for work. The company also offers assistance programs that support the costs associated with adoption, surrogacy, and fertility treatments.
“The parental leave policy is amazing. It truly differentiates Amex. I’ve personally used this benefit and it makes me want to be more loyal to the company because of benefits like this that it offers.”
- Working Father at American Express, Parents at the Best Workplaces Report
There is a clear commitment by American Express to provide employees with the tools that they need to balance the demands of work and family. This has resulted in 97% of surveyed employees confirming that they are proud to say they work there.
Tech giant Cisco is paving the way for innovative solutions that recognize the value of parental leave for recruitment and retention purposes in addition to creating new benefits for working parents – such as their “returnship programs” that offer resources to address issues like the stress of returning to work and postpartum depression.
Cisco created a workplace environment for parents that acknowledged the stressors they face and help them feel confident in maternity, paternity, and adoption processes.
Mothers returning to work in Cisco have private use of dedicated “parenting” spaces that allow them to avail of privacy needed for breast pumping. Parents can also access child care benefits such as on-site early learning centers and nearby child care options, depending on their preference.
The company’s extensive paid parental leave gives a child’s main caregiver 13 consecutive weeks of leave and a supporting caregiver four weeks of paid leave. Additionally, the company is transparent about providing cost subsidies for baby equipment and fertility treatments.
Most recently, the company extended its belief that working parents should be supported by working with #FirstResponsdersFirst to provide free child care for frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PwC is another exemplary example of a company that makes sure parenthood is acknowledged, supported, and rewarded as part of an employee benefits program. Flexibility and assistance are core principles that underpin the support programs offered to the working parents of PwC.
The company believes that its employees can have a fulfilling and rewarding career while also being fully committed to family. The firm activated Parent Flexibility Champions in each of its markets that acts as an advocate and support for those parents that work on flexi-time arrangements.
Additionally, PwC provides child care assistance options such as:
- Emergency back-up child care reimbursement programs
- Prenatal information, free breast pumps, and ongoing lactation support for nursing mothers
- Access to back-up child care centers
- Unlimited family sick days
- Personalized help with recruiting, vetting, and choosing a child care provider
The Big Four firm revamped its child care offering to respond to the needs of pandemic parenting by adding optional perks such as protected time which allows parents to not be disturbed during homeschooling, reduced work schedules, flexi-time, and tutoring services for children.
“The flexibility is key for me as it allows me to achieve a work/life balance. Also, real-time recognition and be well/work well or other financial initiatives allow me to do little things that make my life better.”
- An employee at PwC, Great Place To Work’s Best Workplaces for Parents, 2020
Not Just For Fortune 100 Companies: Making the Case For Employer-Sponsored Child Care Support
For many years, child care support as part of a benefits program was only accessible to team members of Fortune 100 companies. Yet, times are changing and more companies are opening their eyes to the reality of providing employer-sponsored child care options.
Parents value child care at the same level as paid time off, equity, and a well-paid salary. According to research conducted by Vivvi, 76% of parents would be willing to leave their current jobs for one that offered child care options at the same pay – making it one of the most effective retention tools at a company’s disposal.
The potential benefits that it offers employers of all sizes is another reason why child care support should not be reserved for those at larger companies. Access to on-site and in-home child care support can reduce turnover by up to 60% and increase productivity by up to 71% – this inevitably will improve a company’s ROI in the long run.
We Partner With Employers to Support Working Parents
Vivvi partners with employers of all sizes to make high-quality full-time and backup care more accessible and affordable. With flexible offerings and global coverage across campus, in-home, in-office, and virtual care, Vivvi meets the needs of your business and your employees where you are.
Visit our employer page to learn more about the benefits and ROI our child care offerings have provided to businesses like yours.