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How to handle childcare issues for parents on your team

Keeping your practice fully staffed and running smoothly can be challenging when one or more of your team members is struggling with childcare concerns.

Grow your team

The easiest way to alleviate scheduling concerns is to add another name to the schedule. Even part-time help can make a big difference. While putting another employee on your payroll certainly adds cost to your bottom line, the benefit of added flexibility and backup can be invaluable.

Altering to your workflow

Sometimes adjustments can be made to scheduling or workflow that won’t affect patient care or other systems in the practice. Examples include:

  • Reassign duties and responsibilities to free up time in areas of your practice stretched thin
  • Expand your opening hours and allow employees to work split shifts
  • Look for opportunities for certain team members to work part-time from home when completing certain tasks, such as doing paperwork or making phone calls
  • Allow full-time employees to scale down to part-time

Do your research

A look at the annual calendar for local schools can help you identify certain days or weeks when employees are more likely to need time off or may have difficulty coordinating childcare.

Get to know childcare resources in your community

By understanding local childcare alternatives, you can help parents solve scheduling conflicts by leveraging community resources.

Beware of the “easy way out”

Letting an otherwise adequately-performing employee go due to childcare conflicts tends to be a decision that is detrimental to your business, even if the termination is in accordance with your state’s protections for working parents. Members of your team may know the employee left due to childcare issues. This can be negative for your practice’s culture and could lead other team members to start looking for a new employer. If an employee you’d like to keep is struggling with childcare concerns, your best bet is to work together to find an alternative solution.