The Problem of Childcare
The traditional family of a working father and a stay-at-home mother
scenario is fast changing as more and more women are also joining the
work force. This means that increasing numbers of employees are
working parents who must find ways to cope with the often conflicting
time demands of both work and childcare. It is a serious concern for
employees and has a direct impact on the businesses.
There are two reasons why businesses should also be concerned and are
* Firstly, problems with child care can adversely affect the job
performance of working parents by increasing absenteeism,
tardiness, turnover rates and recruiting and training costs. These
in turn, can adversely affect productivity and work quality and
ultimately the competitiveness of the businesses that employ these
* Secondly, in the past such problems with childcare would be of
little concern of employers since few employees were affected and
there always seems to be other workers willing to take the place
of those that quit. But the labour market today and into the
foreseeable future is radically different.
Apart from the above, human resources studies had shown that
work-family programs and benefits may have an impact on employee
recruitment and retention. Based on the above, employers should
consider providing childcare facilities for the employees. Balancing
work-life commitments is a key challenge for both employees and
employers. Employers who play a role in helping their employees
benefits enormously through:
* Wider recruitment pool - With more and more women are set to enter
the workforce, many of them are parents. In order to work, parents
have to find suitable childcare. Help with childcare will mean you
will have an edge over other employers when it comes to recruiting
the best people. Childcare is becoming more an issue for men, too,
as parents share the responsibilities for childcare between them.
* Skill shortages - Employers, who can offer that bit more in terms
of employee welfare, are going to have advantage when it comes to
recruiting for hard to fill vacancies.
* Higher retention rates and reduced recruitment costs as replacing
of employees is costly. This would also encourage women to return
to work after maternity leave.
* Reduced absenteeism and increased productivity - Absenteeism and
sick leaves due to stress and childcare concerns could be reduced
as they will be able to focus and committed to their work which
would increase productivity when childcare issues are taken care
* Greatly loyalty - Employees are more likely to "go the extra mile"
of they feel their employer helps them with their concerns. This