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Back-up Child Care

Bright Horizons are pioneers of employer-sponsored back-up care, with 20 years’ experience. We are the leaders in partnering with organisations to develop creative back-up solutions, managing more back-up programmes than any other child care provider in the world. In the UK we pioneered back-up care in our London centres, at the request of our corporate clients, and opened our first dedicated back-up child care centre in 2001.

Providing Valuable Services

Back-up care provides a valuable service to children and their families when their usual child care arrangements break down. Back-up care enables employees to be at work whenever they experience such breakdowns and, as a result, employers experience reduced absenteeism, higher productivity, improved morale and employees sense that the company is a proactive and caring employer.

Back-up care in centres extends potentially to all parents with children aged 3 months to 12 years, and is provided at an equally high level of quality as our regular child care service Back-up care can be used whenever:

  • Regular child care arrangements break down or are not available; for example if a spouse/partner, informal day care provider, relative or nanny are not available due to illness, holiday or have an emergency of their own
  • School is closed for holidays or INSET training days
  • An employee works part-time and must be at work on a day when their child care is not available
  • A parent is returning to work from leave of absence or has recently relocated and needs assistance making the transition back to work with family responsibilities
  • Working arrangements change to meet the employer’s requirements.
Back-up care can be provided on a dedicated or space-available basis in existing centres or dedicated back-up centres. For employers sponsoring dedicated back-up care, places are guaranteed for the children of their employees.

Helping Clients

Our monthly utilisation monitoring can assist clients in assessing the need at each location: the number of places can be adjusted annually to meet ongoing need. Usage and demand is carefully monitored by Bright Horizons to facilitate effective reporting to our clients.

Parents will be asked to register their children’s details in advance, and will be able to book places up to 2 weeks in advance with the Centre Manager at the participating centres, as well as on the day that care is required. Parents will initially be entitled to 20 days back-up care per annum. The company may also wish to reserve a small number of places for last-minute bookings, to cope with emergency breakdowns in parents’ regular care. Clients either offer this service free of charge to their employees or recover some of the costs from parents through a nominal co-payment against the cost of care. Unlike full-time care, backup child care is subsidised almost 100% by the employer. The reason for this is that most employees would choose to stay at home on a day when there is a breakdown in the customary care, rather than paying more than a fraction of the actual cost. Back-up care does have a very positive impact on the lives of employees, and employers, by relieving the individual and organisational stress associated with breakdowns in care and the resulting absenteeism.

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About Bright Horizons
Curriculum & Care - Ireland


Bright Horizons is very confident that our World at Their Fingertips programme mirrors the core principles and standards outlined in Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education developed by CECDE.

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