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On-site daycare is a specially organized place for a temporary stay of children in the vicinity of their parents' office in the company. Here, parents can leave their child for several hours or for the day, being able to come to visit or feed them from time to time. This model of preschool children's education is widely spread in large companies in Europe and the USA. The topic is especially relevant in the USA as in 80% of two-parent families with children, both parents are employed (Kossek, Lewis, & Hammer, 2010). The availability of on-site daycare is one of the benefits for parents who work, and many studies are dedicated to the research on this issue. Thus, a review of the corresponding literature has demonstrated the presence of such categories as benefits for families and benefits for companies. In general, on-site daycare and other benefits related to childcare are useful in many ways and they belong to the best HR practices and efficient organizational management solutions.
Benefits for Families
The structure of modern family has changed greatly. Today, it is common for both the husband and the wife to work. At the same time, there is a problem of single-parent families. Studies show that the increase in the number of women in the labor market, including those with young children, has an impact on corporate culture (Sipil?, Repo, & Rissanen, 2010). Those who deal with the needs of employees with families focus on the low availability of preschool institutions. After the birth of children, young employees of companies face the problem of lack of in-state pre-school institutions and the high cost of visiting private kindergartens as well as the considerable costs for nannies and private educators (Sipil? et al., 2010). Many families either do not have the opportunity to send their children to kindergartens, or kindergartens are very far from home and the place of parents’ work. Therefore, young employees often have to change jobs, rebuild their work plans, which affects the efficiency of the company as a whole. Further, Haan and Wrohlich (2011) talk about the positive sides of childcare benefits by analyzing how financial rewards impact family well-being, particularly fertility. They state that more financial support for families with children have “a positive and significant fertility effect of approximately 4.6%” (Haan & Wrohlich, 2011). The authors present important finding to improve situation in all well-developed economies that suffer from low fertility rates (Haan & Wrohlich, 2011). Thus, childcare benefits can have the effect not only locally (on companies) but also on the national level.
All above-mentioned aspects make corporate kindergartens and day nursery an ideal solution for organizations that attract young people to work. This type of investment is an integral part of corporate social responsibility. Traditional means of material motivation have outlived themselves, so employers have to change and modify the types of incentives (Sipil? et al., 2010). The decision to open a corporate kindergarten meets many modern trends in strategic personnel management such as creating a positive image of the employer or the creation of a corporate culture that is family-friendly, thus creating a family-friendly business (Haan & Wrohlich 2011). At the same time, an on-site daycare enables maintaining a harmonious balance between work and life, supports a healthy lifestyle, and provides efficient management of diversity.
There are other significant factors in having childcare benefits for a young family. Many on-site daycare kindergartens are bilingual, especially in the companies or institutions with workers of different cultural background, with unique programs designed specifically for the children of employees. Thus, Mcdowall (2012) has conducted a research on the organization of childcare at workplace. The author has found that childcare institutions might apply Montessori pedagogy as it involves different age groups, which is especially convenient for the companies with a small number of children of employees and parents with two or more children (Mcdowall, 2012). On-site daycare provides support for employees in their parental role by the company and kindergarten operators, thus guaranteeing a high level of education and upbringing (Haan & Wrohlich, 2011). There appears an opportunity to receive financial assistance in payment for the cost of staying in a kindergarten and the possibility to harmonize working and family processes. As noted by Craig and Powell (2013), parents receive a full guarantee of a place in a manger or kindergarten since due to large queues and lack of places in municipal gardens, women are forced to stay at home with children, taking maternity leave. Further, Craig and Powell (2013) emphasize that the location of such kindergartens is in close proximity to the place of work, which eliminates the problem with daily trips to children's educational institutions. Therefore, the advantages of on-site daycare and childcare benefits for families are immense.
Benefits for Company
The second group of reviewed literature is devoted to how companies benefit from implementing on-site daycare and providing childcare benefits to their workers. The company's goal is to get more flexibility in the work of its employees. If the working hours of children's educational institution correspond to the needs of employees, young parents will not have to change their work schedule so that in the evening they could be with their child in the nursery or the garden. According to Th?venon and Luci (2012), the kindergarten in the immediate vicinity of the work saves the employees time and, importantly, increases their ability to complete their work tasks because they immediately go to work, not importing anything specifically to their children. Moreover, the authors say that parents find it easier to plan their working hours, increase labor productivity, and improve the overall working climate in the team (Th?venon & Luc, 2012). Consequently, the productivity of parents increases, thus impacting the effectiveness of the entire company.
Childcare benefits help to save valuable employees. A corporate kindergarten is a good help for companies that do now want their employees with children to change their jobs if they are forced to do so to adjust to the best conditions for their children (Kossek et al., 2010). This reduces the cost of hiring and training new staff. With a corporate kindergarten, the return of young mothers to work before the end of maternity leave is smooth. Thus, Kossek et al. (2010) study that on-site daycare and childcare benefits increase the involvement and loyalty of the staff to a family-oriented company, which, according to the research by Th?venon and Luci (2012), positively affects the performance of employees. The authors define success as an opportunity for parents to watch their children play, walk, and eat, which gives them confidence in the well-being of their children and positively affects the quality and productivity of the work as well as the respect of employees to the company (Kossek et al., 2010). Another effect is creating an attractive image of the company for future employees. Steps in this direction are significant for the company's image within the framework of corporate social responsibility. Companies that support families are attractive to the young qualified personnel who consider the opportunity to harmoniously combine work and family as one of the decisive factors in choosing an employer.
There are more benefits for the companies that introduce benefits for workers with children such as maintaining balance among male and female workers. Thus, childcare benefits help to maintain gender equality (Sipil? et al., 2010). At the same time, Ko and Hur (2014) explain that corporate kindergartens provide additional professional opportunities for women, which is significant in the management of diversity. Men, in turn, also have the opportunity to participate in the care of children and develop their parenting skills (Th?venon & Luci, 2012). Lastly, the important effect is maintaining the reputation of a modern company: the highest results are achieved in the organizations whose policies are focused on the well-being of their employees. These include flexibility in work, helping young parents, offering solutions for women with children, and supporting education (Ko & Hur, 2014). However, the modern equipment of office space is only the second most important factor.
Many companies are afraid that the opening of corporate kindergartens is fraught with a number of obstacles because of the expected costs at the creation stage, licensing issues, and bureaucratic red tape. However, the cost of renting, refurbishing, an properly equipping of premises for a kindergarten, the construction of a children's playground and sometimes a swimming pool are fully paid for by attracting and retaining talented young professionals. There is another important point. By creating a corporate garden, the company contributes to the infrastructure of the city, which can receive the approval and even subsidies from local authorities. As a result, the company also benefits because it develops good relations with the authorities
In sum, the literature on on-site daycare and childcare benefits shows the numerous advantages of these practices. The literature can be grouped in to “Benefits for Families” and “Benefits for Companies” categories. The guarantee of the success of the project on the establishment of an on-site daycare is the interest of the parents themselves and the willingness on the part of the company's management to support the project as appropriate to its values. Both sides benefit since companies attract more workers, gain trust, and improve diversity, while families are more confident, their work-life balance is maintained, and even fertility is improved. The employer also acquires a number of competitive advantages, from the immediate economic benefits of reducing costs associated with turnover of personnel, increasing loyalty and, most importantly, employee involvement and up to improving the company reputation and strengthening the brand's position. Thus, companies that want to improve their HR campaigns should implement solutions for workers with families as it guarantees success. Therefore, this is an effective strategy to help employees maintain their work-life balance.