Why employers might pay your parents to babysit


A California startup’s app makes it easy for parents to get their employers to pay for emergency child care, even when the people providing it are the friends and family of workers.

The challenge: It’s almost inevitable that a parent’s Plan A who works for childcare will fail at some point – the nanny will cancel, the baby will be too sick for daycare, the daycare may close for COVID-19, etc.

Often, Plan B is to have a parent or friend watch the child for the day, but if that is not possible, parents might have to choose between scrambling to find a new babysitter or take time off from work.

Helpr makes it easy for parents to pay babysitters through back-up childcare policies.

Childcare relief benefits: To help parents get through these emergencies, some companies are now offering emergency child care as a social benefit. Plans vary, but they usually include a few days of free or subsidized child care at a day care center or in the employee’s home.

About five years ago, childcare industry veterans Kasey Edwards and Becka Klauber Richter launched Helpr, an app that helps parents find approved babysitters and pay them through policies. Emergency child care provided by the employer.

“You can stop asking your sister-in-law for favors.”

Kasey Edwards

In 2019, the duo took the platform a step further, making it easy for working parents to add their friends and family members who babysit their children to the Helpr platform so that they can also get paid. via back-up child care policies.

“Everyone has some kind of village that they lean into, and we’re trying to help these people see that you can stop asking your sister-in-law for favors,” Edwards said on the 19th, “and you can put money behind the transaction and formalize this relationship around this need for care.

“That way it’s more reliable, it’s more punctual and it’s more useful for both parties in the transaction,” she continued.

“[C]childcare should sit next [employment benefits like] vision and dental.

Kasey Edwards

Looking forward: Helpr currently has partnerships with around 30 companies, including Vice, Clorox, and Snap (Snapchat’s parent company). Today, its founders strive to make extra child care the norm for employees rather than a novelty.

Earlier this year, they helped draft a bill that would require California companies with more than 1,000 employees to provide up to 60 hours of subsidized child care to workers each year.

“We envision a future where … child care should be alongside [employment benefits like] vision and dental, ”said Edwards. “It shouldn’t be associated with the benefits program. We’re not talking about discounted tickets to the Lakers game or whatever.

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