Amazon Offers Temporary "Backup" Child Care Benefit After 1,800 Moms Pressed For It

by Morgan Brinlee

In an effort to help employees balance home and work during the ongoing pandemic, Amazon is rolling out a new benefit. Announced earlier this week, Amazon will temporarily offer subsidized, backup child care to all its full and part-time permanent Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees. News of Amazon's new temporary benefit for parents comes weeks after 1,800 "Momazonians," or moms who work at Amazon, pressed CEO and founder Jeff Bezos to follow in the footsteps of other tech companies by providing parents with access to child care support.

"We've heard from our employees that access to affordable family care, for both children and adults, is particularly challenging during the COVID crisis and we are committed to support them in this unprecedented time," Amazon Senior Vice President of Human Resources Beth Galetti said in a statement. "This new child and adult care option will add to the comprehensive benefits we provide to all regular, full-time Amazon employees, including comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) plan, and 20 weeks of paid maternity leave, among others."

The company said it will use to provide all 650,000 of its U.S. full and part-time Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees with 10 days of subsidized emergency backup child or adult care from now until Oct. 2. While Amazon will pay for more than 90% of the service's cost, employees will still have to pay either a $25 per day co-pay for in-center child care or a $5 per hour fee for in home child or adult care.

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In announcing the company's new employee benefit on Tuesday, Amazon was upfront in acknowledging the perk was a direct result of feedback from employees. "They told us that helping them access affordable quality childcare was a top priority for families during this time," the company noted in its blog.

Much of that feedback likely came from the "Momazonians." According to USA Today, the group of some 1,800 moms working at Amazon launched an internal campaign in March to press Bezos to begin offering the benefit as many other tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Alphabet, have. According to Bloomberg, the "Momazonians" collected anecdotal evidence from working parents to highlight exactly how a lack of child care or adult care support can impact caregivers' careers.

While Amazon has tied its temporary offering of subsidized, backup child care to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there's hope the company might consider making it a permanent employee benefit.

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