Business Resources

Families need care – employers can help

The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children and the Committee for Economic Development (CED) have partnered on a business toolkit for child care to highlight ways through which the business community can: expand the availability of child care, promote ways to make child care more affordable, and promote child-friendly workplace policies to help families better balance the stress between work and family.

Overview

How Employers Can Help

Communities across Idaho lack quality child care and some options are simply not affordable for families – particularly families who have more than one child, an infant, a child with special needs, or need care during non-traditional hours. There are many ways in which the business community can expand the availability of quality child care and promote child care affordability for families and will see several benefits from helping employees:

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  • Employees with safe, reliable, quality child care are less likely to miss days of work due to child care-related challenges.

  • Employees with safe, reliable, quality child care are more likely to be able to focus on their work without the anxiety of worrying about their children while they are at work.

  • Parents with quality child care know that their children are in a safe setting that promotes their children’s healthy development.

  • Children who are in a quality child care setting are more likely to start school ready to succeed. And, children who start school ready to learn are more likely to perform at grade level, less likely to drop out of school, and more likely to become part of a strong workforce in the future.

Family-Friendly Policies

  • Why It Matters

    Family-friendly policies tell your employees you’re there to support them, you believe in balancing the needs of work and family, and recognize the benefit of happy, healthy families to productivity and reliability in the workplace.

    Research has shown that employers that offer flexible work environments are able to attract, motivate and retain employees, improve employee satisfaction, and strengthen productivity.

  • Family-friendly policies tell your employees you’re there to support them, you believe in balancing the needs of work and family, and recognize the benefit of happy, healthy families to productivity and reliability in the workplace.

    Research has shown that employers that offer flexible work environments are able to attract, motivate and retain employees, improve employee satisfaction, and strengthen productivity.

  • Survey Data

    Society for Human Resource Management Annual Employee Benefit Survey

    The most recent annual employee benefit survey results were published in 2021 and covered how employees’ values shifted during the pandemic and organizations were forced to make large shifts in how they conducted business as well.

    View the Full Report Here

    Benefits

    The added burdens of caregiving and child care caused by COVID exposed a lack in leave benefits. In 2020, employers adjusted parental leave in big ways:

    • Paid Parental Leave – increased from 34% (2019) to 54%
    • Paid Adoption Leave – increased from 28% (2019) to 28%
    • Paid Foster Care Leave – increased from 20% (2019) to 28%

    Additionally, flexibility became a critical benefit while employees, as well as employers, navigated the new reality caused by COVID. The number of organizations with less-restricted flextime increased to 32% in 2020.

    Unfortunately, there was an overall decrease in child care benefits in 2020. We can see the impact of this decrease today and is a benefit that needs to be reinvigorated and invested into for working families in Idaho.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts an annual National Compensation Survey (NCS) that provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost trends and the coverage, costs, and provisions of employer-sponsored benefits in the United States. The most recent survey was published in September of 2020.

  • Society for Human Resource Management Annual Employee Benefit Survey

    The most recent annual employee benefit survey results were published in 2021 and covered how employees’ values shifted during the pandemic and organizations were forced to make large shifts in how they conducted business as well.

    View the Full Report Here

    Benefits

    The added burdens of caregiving and child care caused by COVID exposed a lack in leave benefits. In 2020, employers adjusted parental leave in big ways:

    • Paid Parental Leave – increased from 34% (2019) to 54%
    • Paid Adoption Leave – increased from 28% (2019) to 28%
    • Paid Foster Care Leave – increased from 20% (2019) to 28%

    Additionally, flexibility became a critical benefit while employees, as well as employers, navigated the new reality caused by COVID. The number of organizations with less-restricted flextime increased to 32% in 2020.

    Unfortunately, there was an overall decrease in child care benefits in 2020. We can see the impact of this decrease today and is a benefit that needs to be reinvigorated and invested into for working families in Idaho.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts an annual National Compensation Survey (NCS) that provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost trends and the coverage, costs, and provisions of employer-sponsored benefits in the United States. The most recent survey was published in September of 2020.

  • Child Care Benefits
    • Overall, 11 percent of all workers are employed in a business that offers full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with fewer than 50 employees, 5 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 50-99 workers, 7 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 100 and 499 workers, 9 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with 500 or more workers, 25 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • Overall, 11 percent of all workers are employed in a business that offers full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with fewer than 50 employees, 5 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 50-99 workers, 7 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 100 and 499 workers, 9 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with 500 or more workers, 25 percent receive full or partial support for the cost of child care either on or off the employer’s premises.

  • Dependent Care Assistance Plans (DCAPs)
    • Overall, 40 percent of all workers are employed in a business that offers Dependent Care Assistance Plans.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with fewer than 50 employees, 20 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 50-99 workers, 34 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 100 and 499 workers, 50 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with 500 or more workers, 72 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    • Overall, 40 percent of all workers are employed in a business that offers Dependent Care Assistance Plans.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with fewer than 50 employees, 20 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 50-99 workers, 34 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with between 100 and 499 workers, 50 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    • For individuals employed in businesses with 500 or more workers, 72 percent work for an employer that offers DCAPs.

    Child Care

  • Finding Child Care

    Finding child care can be stressful for parents – knowing what to ask, what to look for, who to trust, and how to compare options can feel overwhelming.

    Employers can help through several resources:

    • Referring employees to IdahoSTARS Child Care Resource Centers (CCRCs) for assistance in looking for child care. Child Care Resource Center regional offices have staff specialists who help families find child care and work with providers to become licensed and to offer high-quality child care. Families can conduct an online search or reach out to the Idaho Careline by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588.

    • Posting signs or flyers with links to the IdahoSTARS web site and the Idaho Careline in places where employees regularly gather such as the copy machine or the lunch room.

    • Reducing parent stress over child care. Do families need help finding child care for a special needs child? Do they need child care during non-traditional hours (like evenings or weekends)? Are parents looking for a Pre-K program, summer camp or, after-school program? IdahoSTARS Child Care Resource Centers can help. They know all the options. They can work with families to help parents make informed decisions. Calling the Careline at 1-800-926-2588 makes it easy!

    Assisting new hires and employees who are relocating with child care information. If your business has a new hire packet, include a flyer about IdahoSTARS to assist new employees in finding child care. If your business has families who are relocating, you can work with the Child Care Resource Centers to offer employees assistance in finding child care. Moving can be stressful enough, let CCRC staff help your employees to find child care that best meets their needs.

  • Finding child care can be stressful for parents – knowing what to ask, what to look for, who to trust, and how to compare options can feel overwhelming.

    Employers can help through several resources:

    • Referring employees to IdahoSTARS Child Care Resource Centers (CCRCs) for assistance in looking for child care. Child Care Resource Center regional offices have staff specialists who help families find child care and work with providers to become licensed and to offer high-quality child care. Families can conduct an online search or reach out to the Idaho Careline by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588.

    • Posting signs or flyers with links to the IdahoSTARS web site and the Idaho Careline in places where employees regularly gather such as the copy machine or the lunch room.

    • Reducing parent stress over child care. Do families need help finding child care for a special needs child? Do they need child care during non-traditional hours (like evenings or weekends)? Are parents looking for a Pre-K program, summer camp or, after-school program? IdahoSTARS Child Care Resource Centers can help. They know all the options. They can work with families to help parents make informed decisions. Calling the Careline at 1-800-926-2588 makes it easy!

    Assisting new hires and employees who are relocating with child care information. If your business has a new hire packet, include a flyer about IdahoSTARS to assist new employees in finding child care. If your business has families who are relocating, you can work with the Child Care Resource Centers to offer employees assistance in finding child care. Moving can be stressful enough, let CCRC staff help your employees to find child care that best meets their needs.

  • Helping Families

    There are resources available to help make child care more affordable for working families:

    • There is a federal tax credit for child care expenses that allows a modest credit against individual/family taxes owed.

    • There is a business employee benefit (referred to as a Dependent Care Assistance Plan) that enables employees to set aside money for child care tax-free that can be used to reimburse some child care expenses.

    • There is a deduction in Idaho for some child care expenses that can be taken in addition to the federal child care tax credit.

    For more information about the above tax incentives for families, read our detailed summary for employees.

  • There are resources available to help make child care more affordable for working families:

    • There is a federal tax credit for child care expenses that allows a modest credit against individual/family taxes owed.

    • There is a business employee benefit (referred to as a Dependent Care Assistance Plan) that enables employees to set aside money for child care tax-free that can be used to reimburse some child care expenses.

    • There is a deduction in Idaho for some child care expenses that can be taken in addition to the federal child care tax credit.

    For more information about the above tax incentives for families, read our detailed summary for employees.

    Affordability & Tax Savings

  • Average Cost

    According to a Child Care Aware of America report about the price of child care throughout the United States , in 2018, the average annual cost of infant center-based care in Idaho was $8,636. That’s nearly more than $1,000 higher than the average annual cost of college tuition in Idaho. The average annual cost of center-based care for a 4 year-old was $7,665.  Family child care homes in Idaho are somewhat less expensive, but not much. In 2018, the average annual cost of infant care in a family child care home was $7,396. The average annual cost of care for a 4 year-old in a family child care home was $7,026.

  • According to a Child Care Aware of America report about the price of child care throughout the United States , in 2018, the average annual cost of infant center-based care in Idaho was $8,636. That’s nearly more than $1,000 higher than the average annual cost of college tuition in Idaho. The average annual cost of center-based care for a 4 year-old was $7,665.  Family child care homes in Idaho are somewhat less expensive, but not much. In 2018, the average annual cost of infant care in a family child care home was $7,396. The average annual cost of care for a 4 year-old in a family child care home was $7,026.

  • Federal Tax Relief

    Employers can help make child care more affordable for families and receive a tax benefit in the process:

    • On Site Child Care – Businesses can receive a federal tax credit equal to 25% of expenses for employee child care. The maximum credit allowed per fiscal year is capped at $150,000.

    • Contracting for Child Care – Businesses can contract with a child care program to provide child care for their employees. Similar to on-site child care, businesses can receive a tax credit of up to 25% of expenses, with an annual cap set at $150,000.

    • Help Families Find Child Care – businesses can receive a 10% tax credit for contracting with Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, like Idaho’s Child Care Resource Centers, to help families find child care that works within their budget.

  • Employers can help make child care more affordable for families and receive a tax benefit in the process:

    • On Site Child Care – Businesses can receive a federal tax credit equal to 25% of expenses for employee child care. The maximum credit allowed per fiscal year is capped at $150,000.

    • Contracting for Child Care – Businesses can contract with a child care program to provide child care for their employees. Similar to on-site child care, businesses can receive a tax credit of up to 25% of expenses, with an annual cap set at $150,000.

    • Help Families Find Child Care – businesses can receive a 10% tax credit for contracting with Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, like Idaho’s Child Care Resource Centers, to help families find child care that works within their budget.

  • Employee-Based Options

    There are also options where spending accounts can be set up on the employees’ behalf. Examples include:

    • Tax-Free Payments for Child Care – Businesses can set up Dependent Care Assistance Plans, which are flexible spending accounts, that enable employees to set aside up to $5,000 per year in pre-tax salary for child care expenses.

    • Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) – When you send your employees their W-2 at tax time, remind them if they have children for whom they pay for child care services, they are able to claim CDCTC. Information for those credits is available here.

  • There are also options where spending accounts can be set up on the employees’ behalf. Examples include:

    • Tax-Free Payments for Child Care – Businesses can set up Dependent Care Assistance Plans, which are flexible spending accounts, that enable employees to set aside up to $5,000 per year in pre-tax salary for child care expenses.

    • Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) – When you send your employees their W-2 at tax time, remind them if they have children for whom they pay for child care services, they are able to claim CDCTC. Information for those credits is available here.

  • Child Care Subsidies

    For low-income families, child care subsidies are available based on family income. These resources are available through the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

    Learn More

  • For low-income families, child care subsidies are available based on family income. These resources are available through the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

    Learn More

  • Idaho’s Strategy For Quality Child Care

    Ask your employees to look for programs that participate in Idaho’s Steps to Quality Child Care Program, Idaho’s system to provide parents a way to differentiate among the quality of child care settings.  It’s hard to find child care.  It’s even harder to know how to compare child care programs and understand the quality of the settings. Idaho’s Steps to Quality system is designed to take the guess work out of looking for quality child care for parents.

  • Ask your employees to look for programs that participate in Idaho’s Steps to Quality Child Care Program, Idaho’s system to provide parents a way to differentiate among the quality of child care settings.  It’s hard to find child care.  It’s even harder to know how to compare child care programs and understand the quality of the settings. Idaho’s Steps to Quality system is designed to take the guess work out of looking for quality child care for parents.

    Employee Resources

  • Materials

    Employers can help employees find quality, affordable child care throughout Idaho. Looking for child care can be stressful for parents. Knowing what to ask, what to look for, who to trust, and how to compare options is hard.

    • Quality settings promote the healthy development and school readiness of children.

    • Parents with reliable, quality settings for their children, are better able to focus on their jobs and less likely to miss work.

    Quality child care is essential for families with children, but it’s also good for business.  Parents and their children both benefit from quality child care.

  • Employers can help employees find quality, affordable child care throughout Idaho. Looking for child care can be stressful for parents. Knowing what to ask, what to look for, who to trust, and how to compare options is hard.

    • Quality settings promote the healthy development and school readiness of children.

    • Parents with reliable, quality settings for their children, are better able to focus on their jobs and less likely to miss work.

    Quality child care is essential for families with children, but it’s also good for business.  Parents and their children both benefit from quality child care.

  • New Hire Packets & Handbook Information For Human Resources

    Download this employee child care guide to include in orientation sessions, new hire packets, and/or employee handbooks, which includes information about IdahoSTARS, Child Care Resource Centers, and helpful tips in searching for child care. Download this version to add your own logo to the resource.

    • Post Information About IdahoSTARS and Child Care Resource Center Services Near the Copy Machine, the Coffee Machine, or in the Lunch Room. Download a brief one pager that includes information about Child Care Resource Centers as well as information about child care subsidies for low wage families.

    • Include information about Child Care Resource Centers and employee child care tips in your company’s newsletter.  Download this information for an easy cut & paste into your newsletter format.

  • Download this employee child care guide to include in orientation sessions, new hire packets, and/or employee handbooks, which includes information about IdahoSTARS, Child Care Resource Centers, and helpful tips in searching for child care. Download this version to add your own logo to the resource.

    • Post Information About IdahoSTARS and Child Care Resource Center Services Near the Copy Machine, the Coffee Machine, or in the Lunch Room. Download a brief one pager that includes information about Child Care Resource Centers as well as information about child care subsidies for low wage families.

    • Include information about Child Care Resource Centers and employee child care tips in your company’s newsletter.  Download this information for an easy cut & paste into your newsletter format.

  • Resources for Your Website

    If your Human Resources Department has a resource area for employees (or an employee resource area on a company web site), post links to these documents

  • If your Human Resources Department has a resource area for employees (or an employee resource area on a company web site), post links to these documents

    Why Quality Matters

  • Why Employers Should Care About Child Care
    • Employees with safe, reliable, quality child care are less likely to miss days of work due to child care related challenges.

    • Employees with safe, reliable, quality child care are more likely to be able to focus on their work without the anxiety of worrying about their children while they are at work.

    • Parents with quality child care know that their children are in a safe setting that promotes their children’s healthy development.

    • Children who are in a quality child care setting are more likely to start school ready to succeed. And, children who start school ready to learn are more likely to perform at grade level, less likely to drop out of school, and more likely to become part of a strong workforce in the future.

    • Employees with safe, reliable, quality child care are less likely to miss days of work due to child care related challenges.

    • Employees with safe, reliable, quality child care are more likely to be able to focus on their work without the anxiety of worrying about their children while they are at work.

    • Parents with quality child care know that their children are in a safe setting that promotes their children’s healthy development.

    • Children who are in a quality child care setting are more likely to start school ready to succeed. And, children who start school ready to learn are more likely to perform at grade level, less likely to drop out of school, and more likely to become part of a strong workforce in the future.

  • Information About Quality Child Care & Early Childhood Development

    Learn more about how quality child care can greatly impact the development of young children and create positive outcomes for the child and their families:

  • Learn more about how quality child care can greatly impact the development of young children and create positive outcomes for the child and their families:

    About the Toolkit

    The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) and the Committee for Economic Development (CED) have partnered on a business toolkit for child care to highlight ways through which the business community can:

    • expand the availability of child care,

    • promote ways to make child care more affordable, and

    • promote child-friendly workplace policies to help families better balance the stress between work and family.

    The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization operating to ensure that all children thrive wherever they grow and learn. The early years are a time of remarkable brain growth in children and lay the foundation for subsequent learning and development. Up-front investments in quality care and early education translate into direct returns for the state, our communities and society as a whole. Idaho AEYC works to improve the quality of child care and raise awareness about the importance of early education.

    The Committee for Economic Development (CED) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, operating to unite and mobilize the business community on key public policy issues by delivering well-researched analysis and reasoned solutions to our nation’s most critical issues. For several decades, CED has provided a business voice in support of early learning programs. CED policy studies Why Child Care Matters (1993), Preschool for All (2002), Unfinished Business (2012) and CED commissioned research – including research conducted by Nobel Laureate in Economics James Heckman – made the economic case arguments for early investments in children and identified child care as a central workforce issue. Recent studies and policy papers include: Pathways to High-Quality Child Care: The Workforce Investment Credit (2017) and Child Care in State Economies: 2019 Update.