Survey: Demand for Back-up Care Rising

April 23, 2007 ( - Nearly 60% of employees or their spouses miss three to 10 days of work in the last year because they didn't have sufficient back-up child or elder care, according to a survey by Workplace Options (WPO).

Back-up care is needed when primary child care or elder care arrangements fall through due to illness, vacation or other unexpected circumstances, according to a press release on the survey from the work-life benefits consultant.

“With increasing numbers of working parents also having to care for elderly relatives, the need for back-up care services is rising,” said Alan King, president of Workplace Options, in the news release.

Ninety-three percent of respondents said back-up care would be “clearly valuable” or “extremely valuable,” if it were available at their company.

Demand for back-up care services was also strong across all income brackets, with 86% of households earning less than $30,000 and 75% earning more than $100,000 a year saying back-up care is “extremely valuable.”

When asked how comfortable they would be about using a back-up care program, 85% said they would be comfortable using such programs, with little difference between men and women.