During this pandemic, child care has become a big concern, especially with schools and daycares closed. Now as summer approaches, the need for child care is even greater. As a work-life specialist with FEI’s Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, I receive more requests for summer child care referrals than any other work-life request during the month of June.

Employees asking for assistance tend to feel stressed as they try to figure out their next steps or new alternatives for child care. Their struggles are often overwhelming. They’re losing sleep or having issues at work and home.

So, what can managers and supervisors do to support employees who are experiencing these challenges? It’s helpful to begin by reflecting on the following questions:

  • Does your organization or human resources department have any existing recommendations to help employees find child care?
  • Does your organization have an employee assistance program? If so, what services does it offer employees? Does it include work-life services and how can they help with summer child care?
  • When should you discuss work-related performance issues when it stems from competing child care responsibilities?

Many organizations have EAP benefits that assist employees in their everyday lives, but employees often don’t know this benefit is available. If you’re a manager, it’s helpful to talk with your human resources department to clarify what benefit are offered and then promote them to your staff.

The EAP helps with multiple issues or concerns that affect employees and presents options to keep them afloat and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed. But what else can an EAP provide, and how does it pertain to child care?

Child Care Services and Employees

Most EAPs offer counseling sessions for employees who are stressed, depressed or have anxiety regarding child care expenses or services.

When an EAP also includes specific work-life services, employees can receive help finding nearby child care centers, family day care homes or in-home daycares, nanny agencies, babysitting sites, summer camps, transportation and more.

Managers should regularly refresh their knowledge of the EAP benefit, and employees should never hesitate to ask questions about it.

If you, a peer or an employee are struggling with summer child care, it may be time to contact human resources and start the process of tackling concerns affecting work performance. Managers dream of having stress-free, cheerful employees who are efficient and effective in their roles, and your EAP can assist with the child care challenges weighing on employees’ minds.

To learn more about our services, please check out FEI’s Employee Assistance Program. For more information Ion finding or assessing child care, please consider the following links:

As a service to existing and potential customers and their employees, FEI sometimes includes links to other organizations and authoritative websites. We are not responsible for the information on these sites and posting these links does not constitute an endorsement of the parties, advertisers, marketing promotions or their products and services.