09 Jun Why Summer Break Equals More Stress
Summer brings daydreams of the beach, cookouts and lazy afternoons by the pool. But all those things have one common denominator: no school. Kids love the freedom summer brings from structured classes but that same absence of structure is often a childcare nightmare as parents scramble to maintain their own work schedule during such a drastic change.
No matter where parents might turn for their summer solution, childcare is expensive. Daycares run about $300-340 a week (in 2020) while a babysitter can run $12-20 and hour depending on your area. And that’s just for one child. In 2018, “a typical family of four could expect to pay more than $3,000 for summer programs—20 percent of its take-home pay for the entire summer.” (AmericanProgress.com). That’s absurd.
The stress a parent feels trying to find adequate and affordable childcare is not exclusive to their personal life. It will absolutely bleed into and take its toll on their work performance. There are simple ways you can help:
- Provide childcare stipends. You can cover part or all of an employee’s childcare expenses with designated spending accounts or allocated bonuses. If you want to get really crazy, consider opening a daycare center and giving your employees a hefty tuition discount.
- Offer remote working options. The option to work from home has been a game changer in both good and bad ways, but for employees with kids, it might be the perfect solution. Consider allowing employees to work some or all hours remotely, so they can keep tabs on their kids themselves.
- Create kid-friendly activities. Bringing a child to work is usually not a good option, but when planning events and activities outside normal work hours, provide childcare for both attendees and employees.
- Be flexible. Allow employees to flex office hours within reason and extend grace whenever possible. Remember that this season of their life will pass. A little grace now will build a relationship that could serve your organization well past child-rearing days.
Start this whole process with a conversation: ask employees about their family, needs and struggles. It will not only strengthen your relationship with them but help you understand their world and serve and equip them better.
PRO TIP: If your staff handbook doesn’t directly address kids in the workplace, be sure to add your policy so employees have clear expectations!
Original content by the HR Ministry Solutions. This information is provided with the understanding that Payroll Partners is not rendering legal, human resources, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from a lawyer, HR consultant or other professional.