|The Need:||Flexible child care options during virtual school days|
|The Innovators:||The innovators are Evangelical Community Hospital, The Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness, and The Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA|
When Evangelical Community Hospital mobilized to manage the COVID-19 public health crisis, the needs of its employees – the pandemic’s essential workers – came first. An innovative partnership delivered flexible child care options for parents suddenly confronting the scheduling challenges created by at-home learning for school-age children.
The Need: Like healthcare systems nationwide, the workforce of Evangelical Community Hospital comprises 80 percent women. Of those, 40 percent are in their childbearing and child-rearing years. As hospital officials confronted the COVID health crisis, they surveyed staff about child care supports needed to keep them coming to work. The greatest need became apparent between 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays – those virtual school days when children were expected to be at home and learning, while parents were needed at work.
The Business Investment: In 1926, the infirmary of an orphanage/nursing home in Lewisburg, Union County, opened to the public, and the response was overwhelming. That was the origins of Evangelical Community Hospital, still a community health mainstay. As an employer, the hospital’s initiatives to cultivate work-life balance include priority placement with a high-quality child care provider, a dependent-care FSA, and generous parental leave.
Get Involved: Most Pennsylvania employers want to help working families address child care needs, but few realize that resources are available to help. The Case Studies in Caring series explores award-winning business initiatives created with available resources and are custom-crafted to meet local child care needs for communities and workforces.
To learn how your business can join the movement to invest in caring, contact the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission at email@example.com and find an online toolkit for businesses to support working families and child care at Investments in Caring PA, www.investmentsincaringpa.com.