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Did you know that one in three workers is a caretaker for a child (or children) under 18? Working parents make up a huge part of the workforce, yet their needs are often overlooked. Offering childcare services is a great way to stand out from other employers and offer additional support to your employees with children. But creating an on-site daycare center can take time and effort. Is it the right option for you? We break down what you need to know before you set up a daycare. 

Why Invest in On-Site Childcare?

Daycare is expensive, and families are likely already overburdened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the strain of inflation. According to LinkedIn, 62% of American parents have difficulty sourcing affordable and quality childcare. And a whopping 83% of millennials would change employers for better family-friendly benefits. 

Not only can offering childcare help you attract your ideal candidates, it can also help retain current workers. Research from Harvard Business School shows that 50% of employees aged 26-35 and 27% of employees aged 18-25 have left a position due to their responsibilities as a caregiver. This can have ripple effects throughout a company, from changing team dynamics to financial anxiety on behalf of the departing employee, to greater burden faced by current employees due to understaffing.

Setting up a daycare center is hard work, but it’s clear that working parents aren’t getting enough aid right now. On-site childcare centers can be a great way to offer your employees material support.  

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How to Set Up a Daycare Center for Healthcare Employees 

Do you feel like setting up a daycare center is right for you? If so, here are the steps you need to take. Here’s how to set up a daycare center for healthcare employees. 

1. Gauge Your Employees’ Needs 

You don’t want to put in the time and money to create a childcare center that doesn’t match your employees’ needs. Use surveys, town halls, and informal check-ins to understand the childcare needs of your employees. 

You may find that they’d rather get reimbursed for their child care expenses than access an on-site childcare facility, or that they’d prefer an emergency-only daycare center. 

Surveys can also give you an idea of the capacity your daycare needs in order to appropriately serve your staff. If you do decide to reimburse, make certain that you’re compliant with IRS and all other benefits legalities. You can also offer DCA accounts for employees with children under school age. 

Learn how to use surveys to your advantage

2. Decide on Scale and Budget 

Setting up a child care center can be a complicated endeavor. It’s good to have some goals in mind. Here’s some questions to ask yourself before you get started. 

  • What age ranges do you want to serve? 
  • What are the hours you’d prefer for your daycare center? 
  • What kind of amenities do you want to provide? 
  • What is the budget you are willing to use for this daycare center?
  • Who is providing care? 
  • What new roles do you need to create for this program? 

3. Look Into Licensing and Employment Rules in Your State 

The safety of the children in your care comes first. It’s important to be compliant with state licensing laws and regulations. 

Consider involving legal counsel to ensure that everything, from employee to child ratios, room dimensions, to the qualifications of caretakers, is correct. 

4. Consider Working With an Agency 

Some companies choose to work with childcare agencies, while others choose to start their daycare from scratch. If you’ve been wondering how to set up a daycare, an agency can take a lot of the process out of your hands. However, there are still some things to consider. 

If you choose to work with an agency, you may not have as much flexibility in the amenities you offer and the staff who run the daycare. And if you’re in a rural area, you may also have trouble finding an agency that serves your location. 

Other Forms of Childcare

If after reading this article, you aren’t sure that setting up a daycare makes sense for you, there are other options you can pursue. 

  • Financial assistance for childcare – A stipend or reimbursement program that employees can use for childcare services, such as daycare and babysitting.
  • Emergency on-site childcare – A more provisional and low-capacity daycare center for employees experiencing emergency situations. It’s important that provisional daycare centers are still up to code.
  • Employee peer support – Formal or informal employer facilitated channels, created with the purpose of helping employees swap resources, such as carpooling for school drop-offs, shift swaps in case of emergency, and peer childcare. While this option requires the least amount of resources, it also places the largest onus on your employees. 

Learn more about childcare options 

Better Hiring With Apploi 

We’ve covered how to set up a daycare center in healthcare. But without optimized job postings, it can be difficult to get the word out about your childcare options. Apploi can help you attract and retain new candidates, no matter what their caregiver needs. 

Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end talent management solution.

Melanie Boroosan

Over her six years in healthcare administration, Melanie has managed human resources, legal, compliance, payroll, and recruitment efforts at a corporate level. This oversight granted her a deep appreciation for the unique needs of healthcare managers, and for the direct ways that business operations affect the wellbeing of each employee. As Apploi’s Director of Healthcare Innovation, Melanie draws from her experience in healthcare HR and ancillary long-term care to pursue a vision of holistic healthcare staffing. Her work is rooted in the knowledge that great care begins with improving quality of life for all healthcare workers.