Starbucks Corp. will now offer subsidized childcare for all of its U.S. employees. The new benefit, a partnership with childcare provider Care.com Inc., will provide 10 subsidized backup daycare days for parents for instances when regular care falls through. In-home backup childcare will cost $1 an hour or $2 an hour after the 4th child. Care at a daycare center will cost $5 per day.
“We felt like it was important to make this accessible,” said Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks. “We wanted to have as low a possible cost.” Unlike some of Starbucks’s other benefits, which require employees to work 20 hours before they can access them, Care@Work is available to more than 180,000 U.S. employees, regardless of how much they work.
This is awesome because parents pay almost as much for childcare as they do for rent, and when it falls through or there’s an unexpected day off from school or daycare, a parent either has to stay home or scramble to find a solution that may result in having to quit the job due to inconvenience. Subsidized childcare is a rare benefit. Only 2 percent of more than 3,000 employers surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management in 2018 say they help employees pay for childcare fees. Only 4 percent offer backup child care services. All companies should offer help with childcare or even offer an onsite daycare service. With the way society is moving and more families working, its best companies go ahead and invest more into the job security of their employees by helping them to stay at work.
Retailers and restaurants have been trying to improve their perks to retain employees amid a very tight labor market. Amazon.com Inc. just announced it’s boosting wages to $15 an hour in November for its current and seasonal workers. In January, Starbucks committed to spend $250 million on new employee benefits, including a pay boost for domestic workers after the federal tax overhaul.