OPERATIONS

Starbucks to help employees pay for backup child care

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks Corp. is extending its U.S. employee benefits package with an innovative perk: heavily subsidized backup child care as well as senior care.

The coffee giant has partnered with Care.com to offer [email protected], an online marketplace for a wide range of care providers and in-home services, to offer its 180,000 U.S. associates working at company-owned stores 10 subsidized backup care days a year for kids and adults. The employees will only pay $1 an hour for in-home backup child or adult care, or $5 per a day per child for in-center child care. (After the 10 backup care days, or for other services offered through Care.com, employees pay the full cost.)

The retailer, which noted that 2 million working parents quit their jobs in 2016 because of child care (according to the National Survey of Children’s Health), said it is among the largest retailers in the United States to offer the benefit.

Starbucks employees will also get a free premium membership to Care.com, which typically costs around $150 a year, and access to Care.com’s digital platform of caregivers.

“This is giving our partners resources for things that happen in regular life. We wanted to give them something to help fill in the gaps,” said Ron Crawford, VP of benefits, Starbucks.

In addition, Starbucks employees can access Care.com resources to help with senior care planning. They can connect with a senior care advisor for professional guidance and a customized plan for senior care to help understand long-term caregiver options, housing alternatives, finances and legal concerns – all at no cost.

“We all have needs at home, whether you have children, pets, parents or aging grandparents,” said Alyssa Brock, director of benefits at Starbucks. “This benefit supports the partner and their family. We are all more than who we are at work.”

The child care program is the latest in Starbuck’s already expansive suite of benefits. The company also provides mental health benefits through the Employee Assistance Program and offers parental leave. Earlier this year, the company also announced a partner and family sick time benefit, which allows U.S. partners to accrue paid sick time based on hours worked and use it for themselves or for a family member who needs care.

[email protected] is the final piece of the puzzle,” Crawford said.

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