Is workplace childcare the solution?...Learning from the American Experience Created on 11/09/2012 11:22:00
Langstone Technology Park is one of the few business and technology parks to offer flexible office space in the Portsmouth area, incorporating a workplace nursery.
Evidence from America shows that employers who understand that childcare issues are a significant reason for missing work, and respond by providing workplace childcare, will be more successful at attracting new recruits.
Childcare is one of the most obvious key influencers for family workers looking to achieve a good work/life balance, and companies in the USA are now starting to look at measuring the impact of work/life policies on business performance.1 Findings across various studies included that:
- Fifty-four percent of employers report workplace childcare provision had a positive impact on employee absenteeism, reducing missed workdays by as much as 20% to 30%2
- “Family supportive companies” consistently outperformed the performance of the Standard & Poor 500 companies over a 3 year period
- US National statistics indicate that an average employee misses 8 - 9 days of work per year due to the breakdown of child care arrangements. 3
There is no reason to suggest that these trends would not be reflected in the UK, making business parks, like Langstone in Havant an affordable and more practical office space rental option.
The benefits to the employee of workplace childcare, like the pre-school nursery provided at Langstone Technology Park work across all levels and include:
- Safety - giving parents the peace of mind and assurance that their child is safe and close by. This familiarity of surroundings is good for both child and parent.
- Affordability –the ability to pay hourly for the daycare offered could prove to be more affordable that many less flexible options or paid help in the home.
- Convenience – workplace childcare offers the convenience of being able to drop off children just before work and means that, as parents are on-site, they can respond to urgent issues, such as illness, quickly.
- Saving time - in today’s time-poor society , workplace childcare saves the parent time travelling between the office, home and daycare. Certainly at Langstone, the nursery is onsite right next to one of the main Reception areas. Langstone Technology Park office space in Havant has a 52 place Nursery for pre-school children offering a range of flexible childcare solutions. It has its own enclosed outdoor play zone, baby area; and learning/development goals.
1 Shellenback, 2004 Child Care and Parent Productivity: Making the Business Case
3 (Emlen & Koren, 1984; Carillo, 2004).
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