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Only 6% of U.S. Businesses Offer Any Child Care Benefits, Highlighting Significant Challenges for Working Parents

January 9, 2020

by Seamus Roddy

Content Writer and Marketer

The United States can be a notoriously difficult country to work while raising children in. The federal government mandates zero weeks of paid family leave and a new survey found that 94% of working parents receive no child care benefits from their employer. As child care costs soar, what can businesses do to support their employees with children?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January, 9, 2020 – Only 6% of companies in the United States offer any child care benefits according to a new survey by Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews platform. This is despite the fact that the average annual cost of daycare for one infant or toddler is $11,666 and can soar much higher depending on where the family lives.

Combined with the United States’ lack of paid parental leave, becoming a parent can be a huge financial hardship for employees. Lack of affordable child care can cause employees to perform worse at their jobs, cut their hours, or even leave the workforce altogether - issues that disproportionately affect women.

6% of companies provide childcare services or stipends for working parents

Businesses may think that child care benefits are too expensive to even consider. However, there are a number of helpful options that vary in cost. These include:

  1. Offering child care subsidies
  2. Offering on-site childcare
  3. Allowing flexible employee schedules
  4. Instituting predictable employee schedules
  5. Offering back-up child care assistance
  6. Offering flexible child care spending accounts

Options like on-site child care or child care subsidies can be moderately to very expensive to implement, but can drastically reduce employee attrition while raising morale. Meanwhile, implementing predictable and flexible schedules can be an easier and cheaper way to begin helping parents.

Businesses offering child care benefits can reap the rewards of reduced turnover and increased productivity and engagement. For example, outdoor retailer Patagonia offers comprehensive child care benefits, including onsite daycare, and has seen 100% retention of its working mothers. In comparison, an estimated 20-35% of working mothers usually leave the workforce. 

Women Less Likely to Believe All Employees Have a Fair Chance to Advance

Nearly 6 in 10 male employees (59%) believe everyone has a fair chance to advance at their company, compared to 43% of female employees. Women often face the burden of child care responsibilities which can negatively impact their careers and earning potential.

Even when child care benefits are offered, women are more likely to be dissatisfied with the options. More than 1 in 10 women (13%) are dissatisfied with their company’s child care benefits, compared to only 3% of men.

Business owners should consider offering child care benefits that help alleviate parents’ struggles while still staying within the business’s budget.

Pedro Silva, co-founder and CEO of Küdos, a childcare benefits platform, recommends offering child care benefits that are tangible and effective, yet convenient.

An easy way for companies to begin helping working parents is to offer Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts.

These accounts let parents put aside pre-tax dollars toward care expenses.

Read the full report:

For questions about the survey or a comment on the findings, contact Seamus Roddy at [email protected].

About Clutch

Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. Each month, over half a million buyers and sellers of services use the Clutch platform, and the user base is growing over 50% a year. Clutch has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the U.S. and has been listed as a top 50 startup by LinkedIn.


Seamus Roddy

[email protected]

(202) 871-8095

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