Childcare – definitions – Emergency childcare

Employers are increasingly providing emergency childcare. This can be as basic as providing staff with access to telephone numbers for nurseries through an employee assistance programme, right through to providing access to a nursery.

Providing emergency child care can help to reduce absence or leave being taken at short notice.

Providing access to a nursery place at short notice can be difficult for an organisation unless it pays for places to be permanently available or it run its own on-site nursery at which there will always be a few places reserved for emergencies. This solution means that location could be a difficulty for some staff.

Providers are looking at this area closely and alternative emergency child care solutions are coming to the market including the ability to pay for a certain number of days of emergency childcare per year. This allows staff to tap into a pre-existing network of approved nurseries from which they can select the most appropriate one for their needs. In some cases childcare vouchers can be used to pay for the emergency childcare.

Employers can offer emergency childcare as a core benefit, voluntary benefit or part of a flexible benefits package.

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