A growing number of employees rank the balancing of work and family obligations as their primary job-related concern. This has led many employers to conclude that childcare assistance is a benefit worth offering. Offering some sort of childcare assistance can help employers project a family-friendly image, boost employee morale, and attract talented candidates. Childcare assistance can take many forms. Some of the options are listed in this section. A more detailed discussion and referrals to national agencies providing information and assistance to employers considering employer-supported care are available.
Perhaps the most popular option with employers, financial childcare assistance to employees usually takes the form of a “flexible spending account” for childcare expenses. These programs allow the employee to contribute a set amount of money to an account through payroll deduction on a pretax basis. The employee is then reimbursed for childcare expenses from the account. There is additional information and a detailed discussion.
Determining the best childcare option and then finding a quality child care facility at affordable cost can be a very stressful task for employees. Referral services, typically run by community agencies, can provide a valuable service at a minimal cost. The Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network provides information for employers and those seeking assistance in selecting a childcare provider. Information about childcare options and an online database of care providers are available through the Network's website at http://www.mnchildcare.org
. The website also provides a comparison chart of ...