West Bend, IA (Sept. 16, 2022) – Country Maid, Inc. has announced that, in their efforts to further their mission of “Helping Others Help Each Other”, they will be partnering with the Wolverine Den, a local daycare provider, to fully fund 14 new childcare slots which will be available to their employees. The aim of this new program is to provide local, full-time and back-up childcare options to Country Maid employees while reducing the financial burden and emotional strain maintaining reliable childcare places on their team.
According to the details outlined in the grant, Country Maid will partner with the Wolverine Den for a period of at least 36 months to increase the total number of local childcare slots available for use by their employees. The grant, which was awarded by the State of Iowa, amounts to $159,650. This money will fund Country Maid’s partnership with the Den for two years, and Country Maid has committed to funding the program for at least one additional year.
Country Maid’s partnership with the Wolverine Den also comes with several additional provisions to further aid employees of both facilities. The Wolverine Den, which is the only licensed daycare provider in West Bend and many of the surrounding communities, will expand their hours to accept children as early as 7 AM to better meet the needs of Country Maid employees. Also, Country Maid has committed to assisting the Wolverine Den with the recruitment and selection of new staff to ensure they have adequate staffing levels to support this program.
The reasons for pursuing this grant came from an analysis of employee absenteeism and a company-wide survey about employee childcare impacts and needs. When reviewing the information, Country Maid’s Leadership Team found that, while Country Maid’s overall employee turnover is low, 40% below the national average, childcare was identified as a significant source of concern for employees.
- Across all departments and at all income levels, childcare caused absenteeism up to 10 times per employee in the last six months. It also resulted in employees leaving early or coming to work late at least once a month.
- Between July 2020 and June 2022, childcare was disclosed as a reason for absenteeism more than 60 times.
- Having reliable childcare and back-up care was named as a “significant concern for working parents”.
- Childcare costs an average of $711/month per surveyed employee.
The goal of this program, for the company, is to reduce absenteeism due to childcare issues by 50% within the first year. “By sharing the cost and providing additional care for the children of our employee-owners, we can help reduce both the emotional and financial burden that childcare has on our team,” explained Sara Blair, the Human Resource Manager at Country Maid. “This will hopefully allow our employees to perform at optimal levels in the workplace, have better work-and-home-life harmony, reduce absenteeism, and maintain current levels of low turnover.”