Implementation of On-Site Child Care Services
Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 2
Problem statement 3
Corporate Social Responsibility and childcare services. 6
Political and economic impacts on childcare provision. 8
Advantages of on-site childcare services to Google Inc. 9
Limitations and Costs incurred by Google Inc. 10
Implementation of On-Site Child Care Services
This justification report has been produced as an instructive document to make available the underlying principle and validation for the implementation of on-site childcare services by Google corporation. The first section will capture the introduction, background information and the position that Google inc. will take as a key sponsor for on-site childcare services. The next section tackles the definition of the problem faced by childcare services and needy children and clarifies the contribution that corporate sponsors will bring towards alleviating this problem. Te third section handles the methodology used in collecting relevant information on the need for Google Inc. to take up the role of funding an on-site childcare service program. The last section assesses the results of the investigation, their implications and the conclusion of the whole study.
In a fashion similar to any company, childcare services run on a financial plan, with a large allocation of that budget being reserved for human resource needs such as staffing and training. To achieve quality services from child educators, they need to be equipped with intensive instruction, schooling and vast experience. Apart from the initial qualifications, educators in the childhood education field must constantly take refresher courses on an annual basis in order to retain their certification. Most diligent directors in childcare service institutions would wish for quality and experience among their staff instead of greater numbers of staff. However, budgetary limitations occasionally imply that less competent staff must be employed to occupy support positions and lend a hand in classrooms. In the event that a lower pay scale is availed while incentives and bonuses are difficult to negotiate, highly qualified staff usually leaves an institution for other attractive positions elsewhere. It is against this backdrop that the recommendation of an independent and established company such as Google Inc. to support childcare services by funding on-site childcare services was made.
Childcare can be defined as caring for and assuming custody of children, normally from the infant stage to about age twelve. Childcare is the act or expertise of taking care of children that is usually done by a babysitting agency, day-care centers and other contributors. Childcare is an extensive subject covering a wide range of activities, environments, social and cultural traditions, and institutions. The bulk of accessible childcare institutions demand that childcare providers have widespread training in CPR and first aid. Additionally, profile investigations, drug testing, and verifying any references are generally a prerequisite (Abas, 2012). Childcare can amount to many expenses for one child even in the United States. These direct and other indirect expenses require the contribution of a more established entity such as a corporate partner. It is in this regard that Google Inc. will be considered as the main sponsoring body for the on-site childcare service program (Child Care Partnership Project, 2012).
The requirement for employers to think about providing on-site childcare centers for their worker’s children is becoming more essential at the present time. Providing on-site daycare services can offer one of the solutions to address the critical need for professional caregivers for children. On-site childcare centers are increasingly becoming significant based on the increasing number of companies in the United States having such centers that have been proposed as the best companies to work in. A classical example is the SAS Institute that had first-class impressive benefits for employee children including on-site healthcare and expert childcare. The essence of offering these and other forms of childcare benefits is to keep employees satisfied, productivity and assured that the welfare of their children is in good hands. Proper implementation of these on-site childcare programs has guaranteed exponential returns in the form of lower turnover and higher revenue generation. As an international company, Google Inc. should also adopt this change in policy in line with the changing global trends concerning employee welfare and other issues.
In conducting the research into on-site childcare services, the following techniques and approaches were applied. The data collection procedure took a period of 9 months and was focused on the manufacturing hub located towards the southwestern area of the United States that contained over 55 similar businesses. The study sample targeted female workers that did not possess any college education and who earned from $20 to $40. The sizes of the establishments studied varied from 200 to 600 employees. The study was also careful to ensure that the set of employees studied were undergoing similar economic and parental circumstances. The data collection methods included face-to-face interviews conducted for over 900 employees in the three companies that offered on-site childcare services.
The interviews focused on matters concerning childcare arrangements, families and the level of value placed on companies that offered on-site childcare services. The research was conducted using contingent valuation method. This method employed a strategy of assessing the value that employees placed on things that were not tangible, purchased and from which they could not receive any straight value. The interview question were constructed in the basic ‘YES-NO’ format that allowed the respondents to provide a wide range of responses. This was followed by statistical modeling approaches to approximate the average willingness to pay for such childcare services as well as other employee traits for example, family structure, tenure of employment and education level.
The findings of the study can be summarized as follows. The main factors that discouraged the introduction of on-site childcare services to employees include:
Political barriers (passage of Acts and opposition from pressure groups) Economic factors (global recession / budgetary constrictions) Reluctance and/ or non-alignment with emerging global norms Failure of previous on-site childcare initiatives Increased mobility among employees
After the collection of data, it was discovered that only 3 companies offered on-site childcare to their employees. The use of the contingent valuation method displayed a move to an analysis tool rarely used in the study of employee benefits. It was discovered that many of the workers were willing to contribute from around $100 to $300 annually to subsidize the company’s efforts at providing on-site childcare services even if some of the employees did not have any children. This demand was found to be even higher among companies that offered daycare but strategically failed to offer on-site childcare services. Many interviewed workers perceived childcare centers as important assets if the company was interested in remaining productive for a long time as they reduced absenteeism, employee turnover and increased productivity.
In an environment where retaining employees was difficult, companies could enjoy employee loyalty through the implementation of an on-site childcare center. Other options such as increasing wages to attract and retain workers would not be cost effective. One of the most significant findings was the value of human caring. The study revealed that employees and employers alike were conscious of the welfare of the colleagues and their employees. This aspect of human caring might not be economic in nature but it had the potential of transforming into economic behavior. When employees offered to pay a little more to have universal childcare services for all employees, it became an economic choice.
Corporate Social Responsibility and childcare services
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a type of corporate policy regulation regime incorporated into a business structure. CSR policy operates as an integral, self-regulating device whereby a company observes and makes certain its dynamic fulfillment of the will of the law, ethical principles, and international standards (Hamlin, 2012). Childcare has been a central part of most CSR Policy statements form most companies. In various countries such as Canada, employers have started realizing the significance of family among the employees when most of the employment laws were amended to include more privileges for workers having families (Abas, 2012). The landmark court ruling in Canada stipulated that all employers should introduce childcare provisions for their employees. This law was formulated for parents who struggled with raising newborns amid difficult working shifts. Most workers who had taken up on two or more jobs hardly ever saw their children and this was interfering with their bond with their young children. In fact, childcare surpassed race and religion as the primary employer concerns (Child Care Partnership Project, 2012).
One of the top analysts on childcare issues, Rachel Connelly has done extensive research on the economic implications of introducing on-site childcare for employees in most contemporary workplaces (Connelly, 2004). There were very little studies done on the parties responsible for the welfare of the children when mothers were away at work. However, by 1992, Connelly successfully analyzed the relationship between women’s decisions in the workplace and the availability of quality childcare for their children specifically for those having children at the preschool age (Connelly, 2004). Setting the trend for more studies into the same subject, Connelly managed to open up the field to further scrutiny and analysis especially in the face of increased women employees having young children in the workplace. In her study title Kids at work: The value of Employer-sponsored on-site childcare centers, Connelly asserted that on-site daycare was an affordable and profitable choice for most workplaces that desired to maximize their employees’ productivity (Connelly, 2004) (Hamlin, 2012).
From the study, Connelly was able to dispute most of the conventional traditions and beliefs about providing childcare services to employees. In its place, the research proposed that implementing anon-site childcare system was very cheap. Another significant discovery was the willingness of most employees to contribute regularly towards funding or maintaining the employer-sponsored childcare service even if they had no children to enjoy the privilege. The focus on employer-based childcare or on-site childcare services was important in that it signified the link between women in the workplace and the welfare of their children. On-site childcare emerged as a creative and cost-efficient method of solving several issues among the workplace. However, in her study, Connelly noted that the provision of on-site childcare was still a very rare experience form many workers mainly because most employers viewed it as an increased burden on the operational budget (Connelly, 2004). Consequently many associations of employers have fought against the implementation of on-site childcare (Abas, 2012).
The publication on childcare by Rachel Connelly focused on the blue-collar American workers as their target sample. While in many high-tech and healthcare companies have already made the move towards providing on-site childcare for their employees, Rachel noted that low-end, small scale industries and companies failed to follow suit (Connelly, 2004) (Hamlin, 2012). Companies that had embraced this new norm typically had highly educated staff and therefore, the management had opted to offer them daycare services after conducting thorough economic analysis and concluding that on-site childcare would realize their company and individual goals more efficiently. From this evaluation, it can be concluded that on-site childcare provision by an employer is an important and appreciated inclusion in the several employee benefits aimed at increasing productivity and efficiency in the workplace (Child Care Partnership Project, 2012).
Political and economic impacts on childcare provision
Political and economic factors have had the following influence on the realization of on-site childcare service in companies:
National budget cutbacks that limit early childhood education and development Poor training, distribution and reimbursement of skilled caregivers Fluctuating global economic conditions
Budgetary reforms that touched on cutting back public spending have had adverse impacts on the provision of quality childcare services. Day care and early childhood centers were the most affected by the budgetary cutbacks, as they had to dismiss qualified teachers (Abas, 2012). This creates a shortage of competent instructors and consequently, displaces the student to teacher ratio unfavorably. At a higher level, institutions coalesce to form larger institutions; the resources for administering activities in the center become lesser, the food quality in day care centers deteriorates and the institution is forced to take on less qualified assistants. It becomes more difficult to recognize and assist vulnerable children (Hamlin, 2012). In class, each child is awarded less time and this means it will be harder for institutions to meet the targets set by regulatory policies such as Act on Day Care (Abas, 2012). Childcare for most parents, guardians and caregivers in orphanages is expensive, quality is unpredictable, parental leave are limited and the option of after-school care is erratic. The reaction from most employees on a universal level has failed to gain political traction. The forces of escalating taxation and waning or torpid earnings serve to amplify the childcare issues challenging parents who are employees.
Advantages of on-site childcare services to Google Inc.
The advantages of on-site childcare services to Google Inc. can be summarized as follows:
Increased employee productivity Reduced employee turnover Reduced instances of absenteeism and work-related stress
In an article by Kristen Hamlin titled The Advantages & Disadvantages of Child Day Care at a Workplace, employers quoted child-care matters as creating the most family-related problems in the workplace, with increases in non-attendance and sluggishness recorded in eight out of 9 companies. Over three quarters of the managers interviewed at Google Inc. reported that child-care problems created shorter working hours for all the staff (Abas, 2012).
Companies that offer on-site childcare often have more contented, and industrious, employees than those that do not offer these services (Hamlin, 2012). The notion is that workers who have knowledge of the professional care being given to their children and that they are properly supervised tend to be more attentive on their tasks and feel strongly associated with the company. Keeping existing employees satisfied is not the only advantage to this strategy because offering childcare at the workplace can be used as a powerful recruiting device (Abas, 2012). Through this offer, even small companies can competitively attract highly-skilled talent who in other cases would be cautious to accept the position due to childcare concerns (Hamlin, 2012).
Limitations and Costs incurred by Google Inc.
While the advantages and benefits of introducing an on-site childcare service might seem overwhelming, there are several limitations, costs and concerns that arose in the process of implementation of the policy. These include:
Liability concerns (insurance and health issues) Equitability concerns among different categories of employees Applicability Financial implications (furnishings, staffing and other overhead costs)
Liabilities such as the cost of insurance present a major issue for Google Inc. nonetheless, liability insurance for employer-funded childcare services is both obtainable and inexpensive, and cannot be classified as a hurdle to realizing on-site childcare. The degree of Google Inc. association with childcare services will be the deciding factor in establishing liability deliberations. For instance, adopting a referral style or supplying educational materials will greatly limit the liability of the company. Establishing an on-site daycare center will raise different liability issues for Google Inc. Fortunately, the company already has sufficient liability coverage to qualify it for an on-site childcare center.
The cost of implementing the on-site childcare program will vary depending on the type of program offered. If Google Inc. chooses to institute an on-site childcare center, the company will need a major level of investment. These inquiries into potential costs can be cleared by performing a cost-benefit analysis that compares the expenses of several childcare options to the savings gained through lower turnover and non-attendance and lower staffing and training operating costs. As many businesses have discovered, investments in childcare can generate massive benefits. Eventually, there are childcare alternatives present for every stage of investment that can be modified to fit Google Inc’s business’s aims, employees’ requirements, and the requests and assets of the environment.
Equitability concerns constitute the last issue that should be deliberated by the Google implementation team. Employees might become apprehensive over the introduction of childcare initiatives that would not benefit them equally. While basing the argument on recent studies, organizations that have put into practice childcare initiatives report positive reception from employees in different categories even those without children. This category of workers are the most responsive as their perception of the childcare program is that of an investment in their children’s’ future. Having the total support of the employees is vital in ensuring the success of the childcare program (Abas, 2012).
One of the most daunting responsibilities for any working parent is harmonizing their family and job duties. For people having young families, finding sufficient and reasonably priced day care can be a challenging task. Many companies have begun providing on-site daycare for their workers in an endeavor to lower employee turnover and boost productivity as well as working hours. By situating an employee’s children in the same office as the employee, workers can check up on their children and this contributes to lower child -related stress. To the company, this results in higher productivity and employee satisfaction.
Abas A. (2012). Firms should have on-site childcare facilities. New Straits Times. Retrieved from http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/firms-should-have-on-site-childcare-facilities-1.18254
Child Care Partnership Project. (2012). Overcoming Employer-Sponsored Child Care Challenges. Child Care Partnership Project. Retrieved from http://www.kidcentric.com/articleovercoming.aspx
Connelly R. (2004). Kids at work: The value of Employer-sponsored on-site childcare centers. Kalamazoo, Mich: W.E.
Hamlin K. (2012). The Advantages & Disadvantages of Child Day Care at a Workplace. The Nest. Retrieved from http://woman.thenest.com/advantages-disadvantages-child-day-care-workplace-8829.html