Workforce Child Care Benefits

collage of happy children in daycare settings

Be An Employer of Choice | Build Your Competitive Edge

The child care needs of today’s workforce directly impacts business profitability and retention.

Employer child care supports have proven ROI to businesses’ bottom line. Employers experience the benefit of a more productive and loyal workforce—today and for the future.

Idaho loses an estimated $479 million each year due to child care issues[1], and 83% of millennials will leave one job for another with stronger family policies and better family support[2].


Contact our team to get started!

There are a variety of ways employers can build family-friendly policies into their workplace. It is not “one-size-fits-all”—we can help guide you to the solutions that are right for your workforce, location, and resources.

Shelby Walsh
Early Learning Coordinator | 208-667-8112 x. 103

Mark Tucker
Executive Director | 208-667-8112 x. 102





Sharing resources related to early education and child care is one of the simplest ways to support working parents with young children, and create a family-friendly workplace culture. 

  • Print this poster and hang where your employees can access it: How To Find Quality Child Care
  • Households earning up to 175% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for state child care assistance: Idaho Child Care Assistance Program
  • Remind employees about child care tax deductions:

  • Follow early childhood experts on social media:

  • Schedule a "state of child care" meeting with managers and team leaders

    • ​​​​​​​Make a commitment today to to have an in-depth discussion about your organization's current and future efforts to support families with young children

    • Encourage your team to think about how child care supports fit in to your strategic plan and goals. Ask them to prepare for the meeting by gathering data and examples of how child care needs and challenges may be impacting employee recruitment, retention, and productivity. United Way of North Idaho can help collect information--check out the "Resources" tab!

    • Invite some employees who have young children to be part of the discussion, either by attending the meeting, or by sharing their experiences with a manager.

Employer-supported child care is a benefit where an employer covers part or all of an employee’s child care costs.

For a limited time, Workforce Development Council grants are available to fund employer/child care provider partnerships employers to expand child care slots

Employee Scholarship Fund- Employers can set up a scholarship fund to subsidize employee’s child care tuition to an affordable rate (equaling 7% of household take-home pay) relative to the individual employee’s wages and tuition rate. United Way of North Idaho provides the templates and step-by-step process to customize this program for your business and has managed over $500,000 in scholarships for working families in North Idaho.

Contract with Child Care Provider - Employers can fully fund or partially subsidize a number of slots within a child care facility for their employees to use. A North Idaho hospital currently pays 49% of employees child care tuition through a Memorandum or Agreement with a near-site provider. Local example: Shoshone Medical Center (Kellogg, ID)

Support Back-up or Emergency Child Care - You can contract with a provider for occasional care for employee's children when their regular child care arrangements are disrupted due to illness, emergency, or scheduling problems. Paying for a subscription to services like can help parents quickly find safe, verified care providers. Local example: R & R Marine Construction/Discovery Christian Day School (Coeur d'Alene, ID)

Create a Child Care Consortium - Neighboring businesses can pool their resources to jointly support a child care center. This typically works best for employers in large office buildings, industrial complexes, or central city locations.

Offer On-Site Child Care - Large employers may have the resources and enough employees with small children to create an on-site child care facility. Local example: Kootenai Health (Coeur d'Alene, ID); Kaniksu Community Health Center (Sandpoint, ID)

For any of these options, your business may be eligible for a federal tax credit equal to 25% of expenses of employee child care, The maximum credit allowed per year at $150,000. The credit is part of the general business credit and can be claimed any time within three years of the due date of the return.

For details on qualified expenses and how to apply, see IRS Form 8882

Dependent Care Assistance Plans- Employees can set aside up to $5000 per year in pre-tax salary for dependent care assistance. Pre-tax dollars means a tax savings to families of potentially 20%-40% of child care expenses depending on income level and tuition rates. Funds set aside through a flexible savings account reduce employer payroll as they are not subject to FICA or FUTA taxes.

Flexible or Predictable Employee Schedules- Depending on your type of business and your employees’ needs, being able to align shifts with child care/school schedules or being able to rely on a consistent schedule may help families arrange outside care and eliminate child care breakdowns. 

Getting Started

Gaining a deeper understanding of employees’ caregiving status and child care requirements can help ensure policies align with the needs of your workforce.

Key questions to address are:

  • Cost: How much are parents paying for child care?
  • Gaps in coverage: What are parents’ existing child care arrangements, and what are the gaps in their needs?
  • Corporate response: What happens when child care arrangements fall through? How do managers and leaders respond?
  • Benefit usage: How are you educating employees on the benefits available to them? Do they understand what they are and how to use them?
Sample Employee Needs Survey 1
Sample Employee Needs Survey 2

Resource Guides for Employer-Supported Child Care Benefits

United Way of North Idaho Guidebook

US Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Employer Roadmap for Child Care Solutions (2022)

Government Accountability Office Guide to Employer-Provided Child Care Credits

Best Place for Working Parents Child Care Toolkit