Bank of America: Backup Child Care

  • December 17, 2020

BACKGROUND

  • Prior to COVID, Bank of America had in place both a family-friendly back-up care benefit for those times when their employees’ regular child (and/or adult) care arrangements became temporarily unavailable, as well as a child care reimbursement program for eligible employees.
  • Historically, Bank of America’s back-up care program with Bright Horizons provides each employee family an allowance of up to 40 days for child care (center-based or in-home) and 40 days of adult care (in-home) when their primary caregiver is temporarily unavailable for instances such as:
    • School vacations,
    • During a transition from maternity leave to work,
    • When primary caregiver is unavailable due to illness, vacation, or a doctor appointment,
    • When a full-time child care center unexpectedly closes on a temporary basis,
    • When the child (or adult) is mildly ill and cannot go to school or a child care facility, and,
    • To assist with employee relocation.
  • For BofA’s U.S. employees, the company offers ongoing child care reimbursement through Child Care Plus® – a long-standing, unique program that they believe no-one else in their industry offers – to help offset child care expenses when employees are working. Through this program, eligible employees may be able to receive reimbursement of up to $240 per month per child for eligible expenses for formal or informal care. Eligibility is based on total house-hold income.
  • Additionally, access to a resource and referral service to assist in researching and identifying available child and adult care solutions continues to be available at no cost to all employees to help relieve employees of time required to find the right resources for their family.

COVID-19 CHILD CARE RESPONSE

Bank of America, a Best Place for Working Parents™ business, pivoted in March 2020 to provide an enhanced child care benefit that would directly improve the lives of their working parents by streamlining the process of reimbursement for child care and by redefining the definition of a traditional child care provider.

To help employees with children who were impacted by coronavirus-related closures, the back-up care program with Bright Horizons was expanded to include an allowance of up to 50 days and reimbursement of $100 a day for employees who secured their own care providers through June 30, 2020.

Recognizing the continued impact of limited child care, Bank of America continued to offer the opportunity to receive reimbursement for securing their own care providers when working either at home or in the office through the summer.

In response to the back-to-school learning environment in the U.S., the company has further expanded these support tools for both parents and children, with a tailored approach for the fall, back-to-school season and environment in the U.S.

ACCESS TO CHILD CARE AND SUPERVISION

  • BofA provides teammates with opportunities to secure care via referrals, discounted child care services, and child care tailored to ages and specific needs. This includes priority access to center-based care for very young children to learning centers for school-age children. These centers, offered through a Bright Horizons partnership with Mathnasium and Sylvan, provide the opportunity for children in distance learning to participate in small groups with an in-person educator.
  • Additionally, beginning Aug. 16-Dec. 31, eligible employees can request daily child care reimbursements of $75 or $100, depending on their compensation.
    • There’s no limit on the number of days eligible employees can claim while they’re working from home or in the office through year-end.
    • Child care can be secured for children up to and including 12 years of age. For children with special needs, the age requirement is up to 21 years of age.
    • Teammates can continue to hire their own child care, including friends or trusted caregivers, when they’re working for Bank of America during their regular work day. This includes ongoing needs for child care as children head back to school in different formats, and regular child care while ongoing providers are unavailable.  

STUDENT RESOURCES

  • For school-aged children, BofA provides a range of additional educational resources and activities that they can use to support their learning and engagement. These include educational resources through Khan Academy, tutoring resources, and virtual field trips and after school programs.

CENTRALIZED PARENT RESOURCES

  • BofA provides a centralized site of resources for parents, developed in response to current and long-term needs, and feedback from employees who are parents. The site includes tools to find child care in a variety of formats, opportunities to connect and share ideas with other parents, and robust resources to support families in virtual school formats such as education webinars with external experts providing tips and guidance.

QUOTE

“At Bank of America, we support our employees’ wellness – physical, emotional and financial. We realize that managing personal and professional responsibilities can pose stressful challenges for many of our teammates. That’s why Bank of America offers a variety of benefits and resources, including expanding our back-up care to ensure that our teammates are taken care of so they can continue to best serve our clients.” – Mike Pavell, Bank of America, Fort Worth Market President