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Workplace Childcare

Ida Khairina Kamaruddin

PS 340
Boston University

The Effects of Workplace Childcare on Employee
The Reasons Organizations Dont Support Workplace Childcare


Workplace Childcare:
Refers to a childcare center at or near the work site that receives support from an
employer or a group of employers. (Spinks, 2000)

Facts and Figures

55% of mothers with infant children
and 78.2% of mothers without infants
were part of the labor force
62% of married couples with children
are dual career

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012)

Did You Know?

A 1997 study found that employed mothers with children under 6 miss an
average of 8.5 days a year and fathers miss average of 5 days because of
family-related issues. (Shore, 1998)
Other workplace actors that initiate on-site childcares (International Labour
Office, 2010, p. 22):
Trade unions
Organizations specialized in childcare
Employers organizations, local authorities, etc.

The Effects of Workplace Childcare on


Job Satisfaction
The availability of the childcare resources (i.e. on-site childcare) is directly
associated with greater levels of job satisfaction among Federal employees.
(Saltzstein, Ting & Saltzstein, 2001)
Responses from 55,000 Federal Government Employees

On-site childcare enhances employees job satisfaction because they have

greater work-family balance. (Ezra & Deckman, 1996)

Milkovich and Gomez (1976) found that having employer-sponsored
childcare available reduced employee absenteeism.
Nylon Craft, Inc. in South Bend, Indiana had a 22% absenteeism rate before its
child care center, but after the absentee rate was virtually zero, saving the
company $1.5 million. (Hiat,1982)
Having corporate on-site child care center, the Union Bank in Pasadena,
California, saved between $138,000 and $232,000 annually in operations,
attributed mostly to reduced turnover and absenteeism. (Ransom & Burud,

One of the major reasons why employers provide childcare help is to retain their
employees. Losing employees can be expensive considering the costs of
replacing an employee in terms of recruitment, advertising, selection and training.
P.C.A International, Inc., of Charlotte, North Carolina saved $30,000 in reduced
employee turnover because of its center. (LeRoux,1980).
The daycare program helps the company hold on to high-potential female
employees, especially its difficult to find female engineers, said Martin Healiss,
human resources strategic partner with the Retail Solutions Division of NCR. Many
of these women have said that they are staying with the company primarily
because of its childcare center, he added. (International Labour Office, 2010, p.

Case Study AlliedSignal, Inc

Advanced technology and manufacturing firm
70,500 employees
1995 Honor Roll Program On-site childcare (Morristown HQ)
Results from a survey

Decreased by 89% in lost work time

More focus and more productive
Highest satisfaction rating 4.8/5.0
Improved company morale
Attract new employees

US Department of Labor (2009)

On-site childcare can lead to detrimental effects on employees if they:
perceived their organization to be unsupportive toward their family life
were dissatisfied with their childcare provider

Users of the on-site childcare facility were more sensitive to the organizations
family climate and the organizations quality of childcare services provided
Work disengagement and job dissatisfaction have been linked to larger
negative outcomes like absenteeism, turnover, low job performance, and loss
of productivity
Ratnasingam et al. (2012)





t = 1.98
p = .04

t = -1.07
p = .28

t = 2.10
p = .02

t = -1.15
p = .09

Ratnasingam et al. (2012)

Male vs Female
On-site facilities had a significant effect for mother, but not father. Mothers are expected
to bear the majority of responsibility for child care arrangements, and it will be mothers
who will be most helped by on-site child care. (Ezra & Deckman, 1996, p. 176)
The health industry is experiencing serious shortages of medical technologists,
technicians, and nurses who comprise a primarily female labor market due to the
unavailability of on-site childcare. (Knapp, 1990; Meyers,1990)
The existence of a highly significant relationship for mothers and no relationship for
fathers signals that mothers are bearing the primary responsibility for the care of young
children and that responsibility has a negative impact on their ability to balance the work
and family aspects of their life. (Ezra & Deckman, 1996, p. 177)
Family responsibilities including the concern of childcare is the major factor that leads to
high job turnover among women compared to men (Miller, 1984).
In regard to work and family balance, fathers were more satisfied than were mothers
possibly because mothers were saddled with the primary responsibility for family duties
including the child care distress (Hochschild,1989)

Reasons Organizations Dont Support

Workplace Childcare

Challenges for Organizations

Employers have to provide a significant level of capital investment on building
and maintaining the on-site childcare centers (Canfield, 1996).
Procter & Gamble invested $2.5 million on its workplace childcare in Greater
Cincinnati (Higgin, 2001)

Having a child so close can be distracting to parents, especially when they

can simply run down stairs to check up on them.
In a Forbes article called, "Corporate Babysitting" (1970) it was reported that, "One
men's clothing manufacturer complains that absenteeism has actually gone up
since day care opened for several of his plants. (as cited in Miller, 1984, p. 283)

On-site Facilities Crisis in Urban India

" discuss quality on-site childcare... This

isn't just about family balance. This is about
making workplaces stronger and more
effective and keeping and attracting the
most qualified people.''
(Michelle Obama, 2009)


Canfield, S. (May 13, 1996). On-Site Child Care Is No Small Matter. The Seattle Times.

Ezra, M. & Deckman, M. (1996). Balancing work and family responsibilities: Flextime and Child Care in the Federal Government. Public Administration Review, 56(2), 174-179.

U. S. Department of Labor. (2009). Meeting the needs of todays workforce: Child care best practice. Retrieved from

Higgins, A. (May 13, 2001) . On-site day care keeps working moms happy, but few firms offer it. The Cincinnati Enquirer

Horn, J. E. & Beterlein, J. G. (2001). Employer options for child care: Effective strategies for recruitment and retention. The Pennsylvania State University, PA.

International Labour Office (2010). Workplace Solution for Childcare. Geneva, Switzerland.

Kossek, E. E. & Nichol, V. (1992). The effects of on-site child care on employee attitudes and performance. Personnel Psychology, 45, 485-509.

Milkovich, G. T. and Gomez, L. R. (1976). Day care and selected employee work behaviors. Academy of Management Journal, 19, 111-15.

Miller, T. J. (1984). The effects of employer-Sponsored child care on employee absenteeism, turnover, productivity, recruitment or job satisfaction: What is claimed and what is known. Personnel Psychology, 37, 277-289.

Paiz, J.M., Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., Brizee, A., & Keck, R. (2013, September 14). Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications). Retrieved from

Ratnasingam, P., Spitzmueller, C., King, W. R., Rubino, C., Luksyte, A, Matthews, R. A., & Fisher, G. G. (Oct 2012). Can on-site childcare have detrimental work outcomes? Examining the moderating roles of family supportive organization perceptions and
childcare satisfaction. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol 17(4), 435-444.

Saltzstein, A.L., Ting, Y., & Saltzstein G.H. (2001). Work-family balance and job satisfaction: The impact of family-friendly policies on attitudes of federal government employees. Public Administration Review, 61(4), 452-467.

Smith, S. L.; Fairchild, M., & Groginsky, S. (1997). Early Childhood Care and Education: An Investment That Works.

Spinks, N. (2000). Executive Briefing: Workplace childcare at-a-glance. Toronto: Work-Life Harmony Enterprises.