Stay-at-Home Parents

Lack of affordable childcare has been a front runner in the issues that are keeping potential workers on the sidelines nationwide. Knox County is no exception. In 2022 the Knox County Area Development Foundation conducted a Childcare Needs Assessment to determine the local need. This assessment allowed them to gather accurate local data to help help understand the gravity of need and formulate plans to solve the childcare shortage.  The data collected revealed that over 1,000 individuals in Knox County want to work but are unable to due to a lack of childcare. Click HERE to view their report.

Employers across the nation have started to tap into this group of workers by using creativity in designing and re-aligning shift work to accommodate the typical school schedule, allowing these parents to work around their childrens’ school schedules. The Non-Traditional Workforce Committee of the Workforce Development Alliance has compiled the information and resources below for employers who are considering their options in bridging their workforce gaps.

Parents with school-aged children are more likely to accept employment if they are able to work around their childrens’ schedule. For some employers, offering a “parent” shift (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) is not a far stretch from the shifts they typically operate. However, for other employers, this non-traditional work shift might seem impossible to implement. If you are an employer that is struggling to meet quota’s due to shortage of workers, consider this, if you were able to have 10 workers that were able to give you a solid 6 hours per day, how much would that increase your production? 

Workers who fit into this category will have some specific needs such as:

 

  • Parents with no full-day or before and after school care require work shifts that are within school hours. (depending on district, typcially 9:00 am – 3:00 pm)
  • Working parents from this population require flexible schedules that allow them to call off without retribution during school closures or other child related issues. (Inclement weather, teacher in-service days, when children are sick) 
 
To implement work schedules accommodating these workers’ needs, coordinating will require additional effort from business leaders and human resources to strategically plan ahead. Some companies have created a specific part-time work shift, so that other employees do not rely heavily on the schedule of the part time employees. 
 
Some employers have taken the childcare shortage matter into their own hands and brought onsite childcare to their facility for their employees. Other employers offer reimbursement for childcare expenses incurred by their employees or pay childcare providers directly on behalf of their employees.

Though there is not currently any direct incentives for employing workers from this population, there can be financial benefit. Most workers that fit into this population do not need health insurance benefits and other fringe benefits. (and by working part-time would not likely qualify for such benefits with most companies) This could be a significant cost savings to the employer. 

The hyperlinks below contain information including videos and articles outlining how other companies have implemented out of the box thinking such as part-time work shfits and childcare solutions and have been able to eliminate or greatly reduce their issues with workforce shortages. 

 

Kawasaki in Lincoln, Nebraska

Knox Pages Article – “The Mom Squad”

Employer Provided Childcare

 

For additional information about childcare center operation visit ODJFS HERE

 

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