1Think about having your own inhouse childcare service. This can be a great alternative!
For parents: Having your child onsite is really a wonderful convenient luxury. It helps with transportation, provides easy access for parental care (checking on, medicine, or other problems).
For the business: Having good quality, dependable care can reduce absenteeism, anxiety, and stress for your employees. It also provides an opportunity for you to offer this as an incentive for attracting that hard to find employee. It may also be possible to manage or reduce the costs, such as having the cost come out of pre-tax dollars, partial offsets, part of an employee award system, through grants, etc.
Other opportunities: You may want to contract for this service or make them a regular employee. Either way, offering them some of the same benefits (like retirement or health care) might help you recruit a higher skilled worker, as many of the smaller care businesses do not always have that.
Share the cost: The support for this offering could be shared with other neighboring companies. You may be able to arrange for an intermittent provider to make sure all bases are covered if the normal provider staff becomes ill, takes a vacation, court attendance, etc. Having a back up strategy will really help reduce parental worry.
2 Offer flexible working hours. Even a little flexibility might help employees meet pick-up and delivery schedules or care. This could include working a 4-10 (four days, 10 hours), slipping start/end time by 15 minutes, etc. This could also be useful for employees that are attending evening classes or other activities that support your community. Be sure to advertise that you do this to support your employees and families in your recruitment notices.
3 Contract with local providers (large and small). This contract could do several things such as reserve ‘first choice’ for your employees over other care seekers, reserve a couple of automatically paid for seats for your company (like renting an apartment in a city where employees frequently need to travel to).
4 ‘Grow Your Own:’ Talk to your own employees to see if there are any spouses/young adults interested in providing these services which could be provide onsite or in a home. There could be more than one provider, depending on your needs. The need for a provider could be a part of, or mentioned, as part of a recruitment effort for other positions in the company (‘We need an XYZ employee and are also interested in trailing spouses/young adults that might be interested or experienced in...).
5 Help the community ‘grow their own.’ Contract to become part of a larger effort such as a educational training or certification program. The larger effort may be willing to refer your company for potential employment to recent graduate of a program or certification program, or perhaps even with a work study program, care or nursing apprentice/intern.
6 Look for something different than a day care worker. For instance, your company may run long hours and a regular day care provider just can’t fill that need. It may be necessary to look for different kinds of services such as a nanny that your business could recommend to employees or have on available. A nanny may be a better choice for households with several children.
7 Create trade deals. This could include trading services, scholarships, apprenticeships, etc. for service. This might work well for someone looking for a part-time job. Cobble a couple of these together and you may be able to cover all of the bases.
8 Look for or create a Referral service. There are referral services for all kinds of things like home remodeling, senior care, etc. Be sure to check for referral services in your area and if you don’t one, consider starting a new business!
9 Communicate. Word of mouth can be very useful in small communities. Don’t be shy to talk about or post notices on what you are looking for, contacting the local unemployment office, talking with local economic developers or Chamber of commerce folks, etc. Word of mouth has built huge companies in the past and can be very effective!
Got more ideas? Let us know!
Quality childcare is critical to business retention and expansion (BRE). What do you do when you can't find it and lose scarce talent when it is not readily available to your employees? Maybe there is a different way to think about the problem and help on the way.