A survey of over 1,800 working parents who have access to Bright Horizons’ family support solutions through their employers, including sponsored nursery and back-up care, found:

  • 53% saw their hours at the office increase in the past year
  • 65% now report working more than half of their time in a central workplace
  • 76% of those with increased office working said they had upped their childcare as a result – with gender disparities (74% men vs 78% women)
  • 85% said employer-sponsored childcare helps them attend a place of work and 4 in 5 say the care enhances productivity
  • 9 in 10 say employer-sponsored childcare made it easier to return to work after the birth or adoption of a child

Crucially, the report revealed notable differences when compared side-by-side with working parents who don’t have access to family supports through their employer. Comparison with Bright Horizons’ previous survey of 3,000 random UK working parents, the 2024 Modern Families Index, showed those with access to employer-sponsored care rate their employer 20 percentage points more supportive of family.

Childcare is an established concern for working parents, and the same UK population study raised further alarm bells by revealing 42% are looking for new employment – with family support high on their wish list and affordability, accessibility and reliability of care all known challenges.

However, advice from Bright Horizons is to ensure care provision is inclusive, with evidence that elder care responsibilities and pet care are also taking a toll.

Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons, emphasises the importance of prioritising family care as businesses shift their focus from wellbeing to productivity and embrace more in-person collaboration. She highlights that employers who remove barriers to family support distinguish themselves by enhancing employee experience and productivity.

Providing meaningful and inclusive family supports enables employees to benefit from various working arrangements, including face-to-face interactions, leading to higher productivity, improved performance, and better employee wellbeing, engagement, and retention.

Jennifer concludes:

The world has changed, and employers must move to support their employees’ evolving needs if they want to continue to attract, recruit and retain talent.

Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons

Download the full report here.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.