Childcare assistance during coronavirus

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As schools around the country have closed, employees with children are facing a dilemma: how to take care of their children while they continue to go into the office or work remotely. Employers that offer caregiving leave or childcare benefits–whether it be an onsite daycare or by subsidizing employee childcare costs to help them afford outside daycare–are already at an advantage, but companies can also roll out or enhance programs.

Target, for instance, is giving all its employees access to a backup family care benefit–a plan that was previously offered to some of the retailer’s workers–to help employees through the pandemic. “In the face of school and other care-facility closures, backup care will be available to all, including frontline team members who are doing so much right now,” Target CEO and Chairman Brian Cornell said recently.

Target rolled out a backup daycare benefit last fall, providing workers with 20 days of “in-center childcare or in-home child- and eldercare” through a partner network. In light of coronavirus, the retailer is waiving eligibility requirements, copays and other program details.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.