Business World

On-Site Childcare in Development Complexes Can Enrich Family Life

Children Playing With BlocksFewer and fewer children are being raised by stay-at-home parents in the US. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016  80.4% of the 82.1 million families had at least one employed member. A separate report by the Pew Research Center, meanwhile, revealed that both parents work in almost half of the homes in the US. The number of two-parent households where both mom and dad work full-time rose from 31% in 1970 to 46% in 2015, as more mothers began entering the workforce and more fathers struggled to take on a bigger chunk of the household work.

The report further notes that more than half of these parents find it difficult to strike a balance between their professional and family lives. To help today’s parents find the elusive balance between career and family life, experts recommend adding on-site childcare to commercial complexes.

Win for Both Employers and Employees

For parents, having a childcare center in their office complex offers tangible benefits. They get to further their careers without having to worry about caring for their young children. On-site daycare facilities can also potentially mitigate the need to leave an otherwise fruitful career to care to fulfill child-rearing responsibilities.

For businesses, meanwhile, the benefits are endless. For one, people tend to produce better and show better engagement when the company they work for shows genuine concern for them and their families. This helps businesses save money on otherwise expensive workforce turnover, productivity loss, and replacement training.

A childcare facility, moreover, makes a unique and valuable addition to a commercial complex. Childcare center design ideas offer more potential than designs for cafes, gyms, and other facilities that people commonly find in commercial development. Apart from increasing the building’s value, onsite daycare facilities also tend to pay for themselves – a fact supported by the CEO of outdoor gear company Patagonia, which has had an onsite daycare since the 1980s.

Design Matters

It does not suffice, of course, to simply add a childcare space to a building. As a child is likely to spend up to $12,500 in such facilities, experts suggest putting design at the forefront. The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) says child development centers must create safe, stimulating, and nurturing environments to help foster healthy development among the children.

NIBS encourages the creation of childcare centers that are well-illuminated and that integrates active and passive activity areas, where the children can experience a range of play and organized learning while serving the needs of the kids’ caretakers such as the parents or adult staff.

Childcare center design should be home-like as much as possible. It should make children feel welcome, so they can relax and be themselves. These should contain “child-sized” furniture and features including smaller chairs with no sharp or pointed ends, children-level windows, and sinks, toilets, and water fountains mounted at appropriate heights.

Adding a daycare to a commercial complex does more than bridge modern families; it also offers gains for employers. By integrating well-designed childcare centers, companies can help employees bridge the gap between family and work, as they benefit from a more loyal and productive workforce.