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Questioning the promise of employer-sponsored child care benefits

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Haspel, E.
Publication Date: 
22 Feb 2024


Employer-sponsored child care benefits—especially on-site child care centers and child care stipends—are rising in popularity. In the past several years, state governments (led by both Republicans and Democrats) have been passing substantial incentives for these benefits, a trend that is only accelerating. The federal government is also influencing employers to provide child care benefits.

Yet the push for employer-sponsored benefits has largely occurred without critical consideration of the costs involved. Increasingly delivering child care access via the employer-employee relationship brings up a host of philosophical and practical questions that need to be seriously examined. This report provides much-needed scrutiny.

Additionally, the report explores alternative models whereby employers pay into a publicly funded, choice-based child care system that benefits their employees while avoiding the pitfalls well established by the American experience of employer-sponsored health insurance.