Starbucks often makes the headlines for its diversity and retention efforts — like the time the company shut down for racial bias training; and the time it announced a potential program that would allow some employees to spend half of their work week at a local nonprofit; and the time it announced an expansive new set of benefits that gives baristas sick leave plus $500 in stock grants (and $2,000 for store managers), and offers higher wages and paid parental leave for up to six weeks (including for non-birth parents!). Already, Starbucks offers healthcare to all full- and part-time employees — a benefit it's offered since 1988. It also covers tuition for employees' online bachelor's degrees.
In their latest "we love our employees" announcement, the company says that it'll be providing workers with 10 subsidized backup care days for both children or adults, and, well, that's a beautiful thing.
Two million working parents quit their jobs in 2016 because of a lack of child care, according to the National Survey of Children's Health. After all, the average cost of daycare in the United States is $11,666 per year (or $972 a month), according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. Prices range from $3,582 to $18,773 a year (or $300 to $1,564 monthly).
That's why Starbucks is partnering with Care.com, an online platform that connects caregivers with those in need, to implement the new care benefit. Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks, has called the new policy "the final piece of the puzzle."
Starbucks employees will now be able to choose to pay $1 an hour for in-home care of children or adults, or $5 a day for each child at a center for up to 10 days. After those 10 days, employees must pay the full cost for Care.com services — though they'll receive a free premium membership to the site and have the opportunity to speak with its senior advisers free of charge.
"It's hard for employees to actually focus on work if their families aren't cared for," Sheila Marcelo, CEO of Care.com has said, adding that she's been "really surprised" by how many companies have added care benefits over the past year (read: Twitter and Facebook).
While there's always room for improvement, Starbucks seems to be on the right track. Perhaps more companies will soon start to follow suit.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report,