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emergency or backup childcare

Back-up and emergencies allow employees to continue working despite temporary disruptions in normal caregiving arrangements, like school closures, or when a child is
mildly ill.

benefit to employers

  • Increases productivity

  • Improves recruitment

  • Increases retention, reducing
    turnover costs


  • Reduces employee absenteeism

  • Reduces “fill-in” costs

benefit to families

  • Reduces stress

  • Improves work/life balance

  • Emergency or backup care may reduce the risk of spreading illness when a child is mildly ill by encouraging parents to keep the child out of normal daycare
    or school


  • Reduces financial burden when employer negotiates a lower rate


case study: McKinsey & Company

Emergency childcare gives
parents a good option when daycare
falls through

McKinsey & Company is consistently rated by Working Mother magazine as one of its 100 best companies for working mothers. Plus, for the past two years the company has been included in a new list: the best companies for dads. Among the many benefits included in the company’s Parenthood at McKinsey overview is subsidized backup childcare. 


To help working parents with childcare, McKinsey offers a subsidized backup childcare program through Bright Horizons Family Solutions and access to premium membership at Emergency child care helps working parents to quickly arrange care for their children if their regular care routine is interrupted. 


With this service, employees can take their children to a Bright Horizons day-care center at the last minute, if their child care falls through. The locations are all operated or directly contracted with Bright Horizons, so there is consistency and quality across the sites. The company has more than 3,500 high-quality centers across the country and eight in the
Twin Cities metro area. 


McKinsey covers the cost for emergency childcare, while Bright Horizons manages all of the administration and reporting so it’s simple and flexible for employees to use. 


Having emergency childcare provides peace of mind for employees, who at times need to immediately find alternate care when their plans fall through. When employees have dependable family care, even in an emergency, it allows them to take on greater roles at work and in turn add more value to the company. 


Since the pandemic, Bright Horizons has been seeing an increase in demand for its services. During the first three months of the pandemic, use of backup care was about 20 times higher than pre-pandemic levels, and it has continued throughout COVID, according to a Bright Horizons survey of its employees. The client survey also showed that without backup care during the pandemic, 50% of employees would have needed to reduce their work hours, 33% would have missed key deadlines, and 20% would have taken a leave of absence or quit their job. 

Location:        Minneapolis, Minn.

Employees:    30,000
Industry:         Consulting
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Sample Policy

This policy sample is ready to be tailored to your company’s needs and should be considered a starting point for setting up your employment policies.

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