As a perk for employees who relocated, Chase Manhattan Bank has created an emergency day care facility at its new location in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Six thousand Chase employees, who were transferred from Manhattan to the new Brooklyn back office, can use the facility as emergency day care for children aged 2 months to 12 years. The service, free for up to 15 days a year, is designed to fill in when other care is unavailable and when schools are closed.
They day care facility can handle up to 70 children and expects about 50 each day.
The No. 1 Concern of Parents
The bank decided to offer the service based on a poll of employees being asked to make the move. Working parents made it clear that adequate care for children topped their list of concerns, according to Joy Bunson, a Chase vice president of human resources.
Employee response has been enthusiastic.
Susan LaMonica, who works in the bank's human resources department, brought her toddler, Brian, to the center when her regular day care provider canceled at the last minute. Ms. LaMonica said that the service gave her "nice piece of mind," and that if the service had not been available, she or her husband would have had to take the day off to care for Brian.
Chase's facility includes a room for parents along with numerous children's rooms.
Other Family Programs
The bank has established referral services for child care and elder care, and it recently began exploring employee scheduling solutions, such as flextime.
Chase also has begun management seminars on work-family problem solving. It recently held a work/family fair in Brooklyn in conjunction with the the Brooklyn Museum and the YMCA.
Susan Brennon of Resources for Child Care Management, a New Jersey firm that manages Chase's facility, noted that a shift toward two-career couples has greatly increased the need for child care and related services.
Indeed, Chase's action reflects changing corporate attitudes toward child care. Several New York businesses, including large law firms, have begun providing emergency child care, partly to help accommodate employees who work late and o weekends.
Nearly three times as many companies offer child care benefits to employees as did four years ago, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.