For working parents, getting to the polls on Election Day in a normal year can be a hassle. Sometimes, just getting time off work to vote is challenge enough. But throw in a global pandemic, remote learning, and long lines at polling places and you have a recipe for disaster. That's why employers offering free child care on Election Day is the gift all working parents deserve. And this year, child-care provider Bright Horizons has partnered with a number of companies to do just that.
"It is crucial for every American to be able to vote and make their voice heard," Stephen Kramer, Bright Horizons chief executive officer, said in a statement. "As our work and personal lives continue to intertwine, Americans need their workplaces to play an increasingly supportive role in helping them manage it all. So many of our client partners are truly stepping up to allow their employees to make an important impact this election season."
Under the partnership, employees at Target, Airbnb, ViacomCBS, Expedia Group, S&P Global, Cantor Fitzgerald, and other participating companies will be able to secure a child care provider at no cost to them, enabling them to head to the polls on either Nov. 3 or during their state's early voting period. Child care can be obtained at either a Bright Horizons child care center or with a provider who'll travel to the employee's home. In either instance, the employer will cover the cost.
That's likely a huge relief for working parents at Target, Airbnb, ViacomCBS, Expedia Group, S&P Global, and Cantor Fitzgerald. While many companies have long offered employees paid time off to go vote, this year presents new challenges for working parents eager to cast a vote.
Whereas taking your child with you to the polls has generally been considered a fantastic opportunity to teach them about civic duty, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has introduced new health and safety concerns that ultimately make a family trip to the polls unadvisable. But, of course, the pandemic hasn't just brought new germs into the mix. For working parents, school closures and remote learning mean children are at home more than ever before and the need for child care has never been greater.
In offering employees free child care while they vote, employers like Target, Airbnb, ViacomCBS, Expedia Group, S&P Global, and Cantor Fitzgerald are helping to remove barriers that might otherwise prevent working parents from being able to cast their ballot and make their voice heard.
For working parents employed at companies that don't offer free Election Day child care, the YMCA is offering non-members up to two hours of free childcare on Nov. 3. Registration must be made in advance through the YMCA website.
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