Workers with Child Care Benefits Less Stressed Out

June 24, 2010 ( – A study of 4,000 working parents found that employees with child and dependent care provided by their employer report far less stress and significantly better health than employees without the benefits. 

A news release from Bright Horizons, a provider of employer-based child-care benefits, said the poll also found the employees are more engaged in their work and are less likely to report lost work productivity due to stress. 

The study done by the Consulting Practice at Bright Horizons, in cooperation with Jamie Ladge of Northeastern University, revealed that there is a link between employer-sponsored dependent care and decreased stress and stress-related illnesses, according to the news release.  

There were also decreased incidences of physical health issues such as headaches and digestive problems and more serious health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.  Respondents with the benefits offered by their employer were 31% less likely to report lost productivity due to stress over the past month and reported 25% fewer personal health concerns due to stress.   

Conversely, respondents without work/life supports offered by their employer: 

  • Were nearly a third more likely to report being down, depressed or hopeless in the last month; 
  • Were 62% more likely to experience sleep issues that have an impact on their jobs; 
  • Are three times as likely to be treated for high blood pressure and diabetes; and 
  • Spend 20 % more time dealing with dependent care issues at work than those who do have access to work/life supports.    

“Respondents from organizations with dependent care supports were 45% more likely to agree or agree strongly with the key indicators that measure employee engagement, showing a very strong correlation between work/life supportiveness and engagement,” said Ladge , whose research focuses on the intersection of careers, identity and work/life integration.  “As the needs of the workforce continue to shift, to help keep employees engaged and achieving at their highest potential, organizations must create a culture that is supportive of the challenges that employees face and demonstrate that there is a shared goal of the employee succeeding at work and at home.”  

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