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Tyson Foods to subsidize employees’ child care at new facility

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Dive Brief:

  • Tyson Foods on Tuesday opened an employer-sponsored child care site near its Humboldt, Tennessee, poultry processing plant to provide more affordable child care to its employees. The facility will offer care to more than 100 children who are age five or younger and will have a staff of 20, according to a news release. 
  • Tyson invested $5 million to create the child care center and will subsidize tuition for workers. The site will be managed by Kindercare, a nationwide for-profit childcare facility operator. 
  • “We recognize child care services can be a barrier to enter the workforce, which is why we have worked on this solution to provide child care options that support our team members,” Johanna Söderström, executive vice president and chief people officer at Tyson Foods, said in the release.

Dive Insight:

Tyson Foods’ move into child care is part of a trend by employers to offer more holistic benefits to workers to increase retention and maintain productivity.

Lack of reliable child care for infants and toddlers costs $122 billion annually in lost earnings, productivity and revenue, according to a February report by business leader membership group ReadyNation. Nearly two-thirds of parents of young children said they had been late to work or had to leave work early to handle child care issues, and more than half reported being distracted at work or missing days to care for their children.

Child care struggles also can hinder workers’ ability to learn new skills, an August report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found. Stakeholders cited child care concerns as a significant barrier to upskilling for in-demand jobs. 

In June, Chobani, a food company known for its Greek yogurt, said it would offer all full-time U.S. employees backup care credits and an annual cash stipend to use for child care or elder care.

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