Work life balance is a concept of prioritizing between work and lifestyle. One of the greatest barriers to achieving work life balance is stress. In terms of quality child care, an employee who is not receiving affordable quality child care services can be coping with economic challenges and, consequently, stress.
The following policies assist employees in achieving a work life balance:
Dependent Care Assistance Plan – An employer and employee agree to reduce the employee's income by a certain amount, which will be placed in a dependent care assistance fund for the employee to use towards dependent care costs. The employee is not taxed on the amount set aside and the employer is subject to either federal or state taxes.
Subsidized Child Care – After an employee chooses a childcare program that fits their needs, the employer will reimburse the employee for a designated portion of the cost.
Purchase of Space/Discount Program – An employer arranges to "own" a determined number of slots at a childcare program. In a discount program, the employer arranges for employees to have a fee lower than that typically charged to parents. The employer makes up the difference in fees with the designated childcare program(s).
Sick Child Care – Employers may offer sick time benefits to employees to take time off that was not planned in advance to care for ill children or family members. Sick Child Care programs exist in some areas but are offered to employees by their employers. This may include a center that only cares for sick children, a program within a hospital, an in-home caregiver, or a visiting nurse. Some employers may allow their employees to bring their mildly ill child into the workplace in emergency situations.