Fresh off maternity leave, Lanette Johnson found herself in a bind one day last year.
It was going to be a big day at work, and she didn’t want to feel like she was letting her team down. But the new mom didn’t have anyone to watch 4-month-old Logan. Day care had pushed back his start date, and family members who had been pitching in to help were unavailable that day.
So, Lanette — a department manager at our Best Buy store in Arlington, Virginia — brought Logan along for what became an unofficial “bring your child to work” day.
Her story helped inspire Best Buy’s newest employee benefit: Backup Child Care. Best Buy has joined with Care@Work by Care.com to provide 10 days of subsidized care each year to all U.S. employees for a small co-pay. The benefit is available to all full- and part-time employees who work at our nearly 1,000 U.S. stores, distribution centers and corporate headquarters.
“Providing Backup Child Care was an easy decision to make, and we’re thrilled to offer it to all employees,” said Charlie Montreuil, Best Buy’s senior vice president of HR rewards. “No one should ever have to choose between coming to work or making sure they have quality care for their child.”
Backup Child Care is one of four new benefits we’re adding based on feedback we received from our employees. We’ve already rolled out paid caregiver leave, and we’ll launch enhanced mental health resources and paid time off for part-time employees in early 2019.
How Backup Child Care works
Backup Child Care provides high-quality, reliable and affordable care for an employee’s children, at home or in a center, while the parent is at work. All caregivers are highly screened and interviewed, and undergo background checks, complete health and safety training, and are certified in first aid and CPR.
The service is available to help in situations such as when:
- School or day care is closed for the day.
- A nanny or other caregiver goes on vacation, is sick or leaves unexpectedly.
- There’s a gap in regular child care arrangements.
Best Buy employees will receive up to 10 backup care days each year for a copay of just $10 per day. That covers up to 10 hours of care at a center (for one child) or at the employee’s home (even for multiple children).
“Care is one of the biggest challenges for families,” said Care.com founder, chairwoman, and CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo. “We designed our Care@Work service because everyone should have peace of mind knowing their children are well taken care of while they’re working.”
Help in a pinch
Michael Robinson, a PC sales associate at our store in Muncie, Indiana, was one of the first Best Buy employees to use the Backup Child Care benefit — just days after it took effect. He downloaded the Care.com Care@Work app and set up his profile within minutes. Then he was quickly paired with an in-home caregiver to watch his 18-month-old daughter.
Initially, Michael was a little nervous about leaving Harleen with a stranger for the first time. But he said the caregiver quickly put his mind at ease.
“She called me and texted me to ask everything about my daughter — her schedule, what she likes to do, what she likes to eat,” he said. “She asked all the right questions to where I was comfortable knowing my daughter was in good hands.”
Backup Child Care also saved the day for Angelica Sanchez, a Geek Squad Agent in San Diego, when a recent shift started earlier than usual. Using Care.com, she was able to bring her 3-year-old son to a day care center close to her store.
“It’s definitely something I could have used before,” she said. “I’ve had times I’ve had to miss work just because of time constraints. This definitely fills that gap where I don’t need to worry about whether I’ll be able to make it to work because I have my son with me. It’s really nice to have it there in case something like that happens.”
Lanette, the Virginia employee, said she thinks the new benefit is a powerful one for parents like her.
“When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s so great.’ We have a couple of new parents in our store, and this gives them a little bit of a safety net,” she said. “I haven’t had to use it yet, but it definitely makes life a lot easier knowing that it is there.”
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