HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Child care can be both costly and hard to find when parents go off to work, that's why the companies, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing and TBAKI have partnered with an app called TOOTRiS that makes finding child care a whole lot easier.
Jessica Luther, an External Affairs Specialist with Mazda Toyota Manufacturing says "over 30% of our workforce is female. We have a pretty young workforce averaging 29 years of age. So child care and supporting families was a huge topic for us to discuss and figure out ways that we could do better."
Last year Mazda Toyota Manufacturing announced their partnership with the child care platform TOOTRiS, a company that connects licensed providers to parents all through a zip code search.
Luther says TOOTRiS has created a model making it easy for companies to work with the platform, "our employees would be able to connect with TOOTRiS through the MTM, partnership with them, and TOOTRiS would help find child care that was convenient to them, that was in their price range, all the different things they were looking for…"
Since this partnership, MTM has been able to give all employees up to $3000 a year for child care.
Jeff McAdam, Creative Services Director for TOOTRis adds, "the cost of child care is going up, up, up. It seems like every single month. And a lot of parents think to themselves, at some point I might have to drop out of the workforce to stay home and take care of my kids."
TOOTRiS has found that they can be especially helpful in the manufacturing industry, "those are industries and companies where employees work a lot of times on a 24/7 schedule. So you may be working the night shift," McAdam said.
MTM says since this partnership, they've received a lot of positive feedback from employees, sparking another manufacturing company, TBAKI to hop on the bandwagon, connecting with TOOTRiS and providing their employees with a subsidy.
Jeremy Talley, assistant manager of Human Resources at TBAKI, shares, "we've already had a lot of employees look into getting their daycare or childcare provider, register and getting those individuals into the system so they can actually use the service and kind of get that subsidy, you know, and kind of put some money back toward their paycheck."
And as many companies look to the future, child care has been at the forefront.
"One thing we are hoping this partnership will provide is retention for our workforce. I think sometimes we do lose very skilled and qualified individuals just because they are plagued by personal needs that our schedule can't meet and they have to choose between work or family. And hopefully this will allow them to be able to stay at work, but also have options, you know, for their family," Talley said.
TBAKI says they've already been receiving positive feedback since the easy access to child care was made available to employees.