As children prepare for school this fall, some are attending class in-person, some are completely online again, and some are a combination of the two. There’s also the looming possibility of a second wave of the pandemic, which could suddenly put all students back to remote learning at any moment. Parents of young children may once again have to face the challenges of balancing their professional and family obligations.
Northwell Health (No. 1 on DiversityInc 2020 Top Hospitals and Health Systems list) has built a childcare model aimed at easing parents’ anxiety this coming fall. In a statement the company provided to DiversityInc, the organization stated, “We are working on building a childcare model to bring solutions to team members where they live and where they work.”
Northwell’s model addresses three possibilities for how education will take place this school year.
For the first possibility of in-person learning with schools completely open, Northwell will continue to leverage existing discount partnerships with daycare centers and after-school programs for employees’ families. It also offers standard care from Bright Horizons, an elder and childcare offering which provides up to 10 in-home and center-based care visits per year.
Northwell will also expand its offerings to employees with children whose schools are completely closed and facilitating remote learning. It will offer up to 10 additional back-up child/elder care visits to employees through Bright Horizons and allow for crisis care reimbursement through PayFlex, an Aetna-owned program that helps people plan, save and pay for healthcare.
If education continues as a hybrid of online and remote learning, Northwell is offering access to more than 20 subsidized childcare centers’ learning care groups. It will also utilize the 1199 Childcare Fund, a labor management fund that provides benefits to healthcare industry workers.
Northwell will offer access to programs with The Learning Care Group, which provides support for children from ages 4–12, including a junior kindergarten program, private kindergarten and a program called The Prep Lab, which features full-day remote learning where teachers support students’ school requirements and provide other educational opportunities. Northwell said The Learning Care Group’s centers are offering daily rate programs for Northwell team members.
To date, Northwell has invested more than $30 million in supporting team members, according to the organization.