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December 19, 2012
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Editorial: Onsite day care benefits employees and employers

A Roseburg accounting firm has set an excellent example for local employers.

Wicks Emmett CPA has established an onsite day care center for the children of its employees.

It’s a service that benefits the firm, its clients and the employees.

What makes it such a valuable service?

Finding good-quality child care providers who are trustworthy, dependable and affordable is one of the most difficult tasks faced by working parents.

Some go through many providers before they find one who is agreeable to the hours the parents work, shares the values of the parents and is conveniently located.

When parents struggle to find child care, they’re not as attentive or productive at work and they may be absent more often. Some even decide to leave their jobs and stay home with their children if they can’t find adequate care for them.

That down time costs employers money and can cause them to lose clients.

But when parents have child care they believe in, they’re going to be happier and more productive because they don’t have to worry about how their children are doing. When the child care is dependable, employees will have better attendance. When it’s affordable, they’re more likely to stay with a current job rather than seek another that pays more.

All of those pluses can add up to better overall employee morale.

The fact that Wicks Emmett, with just 26 employees, can establish a day care center shows that employers of all sizes can offer this service. You don’t have to be a Nike with a several hundred-acre campus to provide this benefit.

The Wicks Emmett center must be a human resources director’s dream — it was a suggestion that came out of an employee’s annual evaluation. The partner conducting the review suggested the employee write up a proposal and then he took it to his partners.

The partners enthusiastically endorsed the idea and put the plan in motion. Isn’t that a great way to respond to your employees’ needs and ideas?

Wicks Emmett is being generous with its employees. The partners are sharing the cost of rent, utilities and insurance for the two-bedroom home near its firm that serves as the day care. Because the day care is small, one person can care for all six children, bringing the cost to slightly below the going rate per child.

Other businesses may find they need the parents to split the cost of the rent, utilities and insurance for the day care space, but that would still be a benefit to parents. Just knowing an employer understands the value of the service and wants to have it onsite or nearby shows the business cares about its employees and their families.

That’s a good start in strengthening families, which is key to raising the next generation of skilled, educated and dependable workers. Any business that plans to be around for several decades or longer knows how important that is.

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The News-Review Updated Feb 1, 2013 03:31PM Published Dec 31, 2012 12:24PM Copyright 2012 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.