Meet The Startup Helping Companies Pay For Childcare

With their new partnership with Helpr, employees of such companies as Snap and Vice are on the verge of having their childcare costs sponsored by their employers. Over time, millennial women have been faced with two significant childbirth-related fears; the fear of their career getting adversely affected, and the financial burden that comes with childbirth. The reason is not far-fetched, however; women are liable to be more affected compared to men when it comes to becoming a parent, both in efforts and in cost.

Helpr, having been launched two years ago, is a childcare startup that aims to assist women facing tough decisions concerning child bearing. Helpr is known for providing mothers with trained and screened babysitters according to their demands. Recently, Helpr initiated a form of partnership with certain companies, with the aim of availing employees of such companies the access to babysitters at a subsidized rate.

Adding Childcare To Employee Benefits

According to Kasey Edwards, the cofounder and CEO of Helpr, the startup stands out from its peers due to the efficient screening and communication it maintains with its sitters. In addition to plans to create a community for the childcare providers, Helpr is also committed to convincing companies to devote the same level of interest into childcare, like they do for health insurance and parental leave.

By working with Helpr, companies can subsidize childcare costs for their employees who are nursing mothers. Helpr makes available to the parent standard babysitters at about $3 to $6 per hour, saving them up to $13-$16 on average per hour, with part of the subsidy being paid by the company. Edwards ascertained that such gestures as entirely-free childcare services do not exist, even in companies that offer on-site childcare. Some existing partners of Helpr include Snap, Bird, Vice, and Rubicon Global.

And with a reach that spreads across seven cities of the US, there are plans to extend to other locations using the new $1.7 million round of funding available. This fund is the largest Helpr has raised since its launch, and in addition to expansion, the fund is expected to help in the introduction of a fresh initiative that assists parents to re-enter the workforce after childbirth.

Under this new program, the goal is to help new parents in their quest to negotiate their childcare responsibilities with their partners. Interestingly, employers of such parents can decide to subsidize the costs involved in such negotiations. For Edwards, Helpr is out to push companies to cover up for failures of government to provide excellent support for working parents.

According to the stipulations of the federal level of civil service, the decision to grant parental leave lies solely with the employers. For instance, Walmart and Starbucks, among other companies, allow their employees to go on parental leaves of up to four months, while Neflix go as far as giving a year off.

Helpr has been commended for their “corporate nature,” and the fact that “they spend time getting to know the needs of the workforce” of the companies they are partner with. They also bring sitters on site, to allow employees familiarize with them, right in the presence of their children. Away from parental benefits, the propositions by Helpr also stand to benefit their childcare providers.

According to Edwards, there are plans to increase the pay of their babysitters, who are mostly women. “[Sitters] are responsible for a lot of development, so we want to see that role continue to be honored.”Helpr also assist its sitters fine-tune the process of getting new jobs.

Helpr handles the screening of the sitters, prior to their approval, and this eliminates the need for repeated interview when new families come asking for their services. In turn, the time for the interviews is dedicated to working and making money.

For Edwards, he believes Helpr appreciates the importance of continuity when it comes to childcare. However, they offer their sitters a considerable level of freedom, by giving them the sole right to make themselves available for gigs or not.

Thus, it is understandable why Helpr proposes to also serve as a community for its sitters, with plans towards this already in the top gear. In addition to these, Edwards is committed to investing in professional development opportunities, by creating workshops and connecting sitters with Helpr’s recruiting teams and that of their partner companies. In his words; “We know our sitters will not be with Helpr forever, so we’re happy to see them find the career of their dreams.” 

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