Increased parental leave policies have taken the US by storm of late, and this is great news for new parents or parents-to-be throughout the country.
Companies like Netflix, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Etsy that offer generous paid parental leave policies are putting to shame the country’s lack of mandatory paid parental leave, and they’re setting a new standard for the care of some of the country’s most valuable employees.
And radical paid parental leave policies aren’t the only way companies are helping new moms and dads through their transition to parenthood.
Here’s how employers are showing they value families and making life for new parents that much better with generous and unique perks:
A Google spokesperson tells Business Insider the company has four childcare centers near its Mountain View, California, headquarters, while Cisco boasts two childcare centers on its San Jose, California, campus.
Only about 7% of companies offer on-site childcare, Fortune reported.
A Yahoo spokesperson tells Business Insider the company offers priority access to open slots at Children’s Creative Learning Center in Sunnyvale, California, and a free premium Care.com membership to help employees find babysitters and nannies.
According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the company offers two programs to help employees pay for child care: one that offers employee discounts at many daycares across the country and another that subsidizes child care with several national child care providers.
Microsoft also offers subsidized back-up care for children, adults, and elders when there is an unexpected disruption in regular care and employees need to work.
With so many new children joining the Google family each year, a spokesperson says the company offers other caregiving benefits including one-on-one consultations to help parents in their child care search, discounts for nanny placement agencies, five free back-up child care days, priority access at Bright Horizons child care centers, and free premium membership to Care.com.
Other companies like Facebook and Intel also subsidize daycare costs.
PicMonkey, a Seattle-based photo editing startup, has a company policy that welcomes kids to its office any time during business hours.
Whether the daycare is closed, school is out early, or there’s extra time after an appointment, a spokesperson tells Business Insider the company encourages parents to bring their kids to the office, which features a family room for keeping kids occupied.
Flexible work arrangements
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Many top companies understand that family needs come first. Facebook and other companies confirm they encourage their employees to get home in time for dinner by allowing for flexible work arrangements, and big companies like Microsoft say they allow telecommuting.
Other companies like Pinterest offer a month of part-time hours following its three-month paid parental leave.
First-class on-site lactation rooms
- REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
While, according to the Affordable Care Act, it’s the law that companies with 50 or more employees must provide a place other than a bathroom for mothers to pump, we still hear horror stories about inadequate lactation rooms.
Companies like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft have taken the opposite tack and tell Business Insider they equip their breastfeeding rooms (or “mother’s rooms” as they’re often called) with hospital-grade pumps, sinks, refrigerators and freezers, microwaves, and comfy seating.
A crafting group that makes items for the new babies
- Courtesy of reddit
According to a Reddit spokesperson, a group of about seven employees at Reddit gather once a week around 4:30 p.m. to get their knitting, crocheting, embroidering, sewing, and yarn spinning on, and they often create items for new babies of fellow Redditers.
Yahoo tells Business Insider its new parents receive an undisclosed amount of reimbursement to assist with new child related expenses.
At Facebook, the company confirms parents receive $4,000 as a “new child benefit” for each child born or adopted.
New parents at Google receive $500 toward baby bonding according to a company spokesperson.
And Reddit says it provides its employees with a $1,500 annual stipend that may be used towards daycare and babysitting, gym reimbursement, healthy sleeping reimbursement, organization reimbursement, pet care, and doctors on demand.
Parent support groups
- The Office / NBC
Companies like Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Oliver Wyman, and FINRA all offer various support, mentoring, and counseling groups.
Twitter tells Business Insider it offers a multitude of support groups for new parents or parents to be, including its “New Moms” and “Moms-to-Be” roundtables for women who are either going out on parental leave or just returning to share questions, concerns, and best practices; a “Mommy Mentor” program; “Working Moms” monthly lunches; and “Dads On Leave” and “Managers of Parents on Leave” roundtables.
Open to both moms and dads, Facebook confirms it provides workshops to help new parents prepare for breastfeeding before birth by sharing strategies to maximize breastfeeding success and how to maximize milk supply, to provide tips on making a return-to-work plan, and to address common concerns about going back to work while breastfeeding.
EY launched an initiative called the “Career & Family Transitions program” in 2012 and today employs four full-time coaches that have worked with 600 moms and dads on talking through their work-life issues.
Help with errands
Twitter tells Business Insider it gives those going out on paternity or maternity bonding leave a $200 TaskRabbit gift card to help with at-home tasks they may need done. It also offers a dinner-to-go program at its headquarters in San Francisco so employees can take multi-portion orders of hot dinner home to their families.
Microsoft confirms it offers services like lunch delivery, on-site personal shipping, free home grocery delivery, on-site dry cleaning and laundry services, convenience shopping, and dinners to go. And beyond Facebook’s free breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the company says it provides laundry and dry cleaning services and on site healthcare.
HP parents can use the company’s concierge, resource and referral service, or employee assistance program to help accomplish personal errands.
Assistance with becoming parents
- Michael Verhoef / Flickr
Tons of companies including Microsoft and Facebook tell Business Insider they help aspiring parents make their dreams a reality by supporting the adoption of a new child. And Facebook confirms it reimburses 100% of eligible expenses associated with surrogacy, egg donation, and sperm donation up to a maximum of $20,000.
- Steven Depolo/flickr.com
Yahoo tells Business Insider it has a new child gift program and hosts new child showers for its parents.
Designated parking for expectant mothers
- Flickr / Frank de Kleine
Microsoft and Facebook both say they give expectant mothers the red-carpet treatment by offering designated parking spot throughout their campuses.
Free breast milk shipping
- Flickr / Thomas sauzedde
If your job at Zillow requires you to travel while you’re breastfeeding, the company will pay for you to ship the milk overnight back home.
“We implemented free breast milk shipping after one of our employees, who was traveling for work, had trouble getting through airport security with the milk she had pumped during her trip,” Katie Curnutte, Zillow Group’s vice president of communications and public affairs previously told Business Insider. “Coming back to work as a new parent is challenging enough, and we wanted to do everything possible to support our employees and their families, and take away some of that stress.”
Other companies like Twitter, EY, Accenture, and IBM similarly offer free breastmilk delivery for nursing mothers on business trips.
“It really hits at a time when women are thinking about the tradeoffs they’re making with their career and family, and so anything that our industry or other industries can do to make women stay in the workforce and support the choices they’re making I think is a good thing,” Twitter’s former VP of diversity and inclusion, Janet Van Huysse, previously told Business Insider when the policy was instituted.
- Lucélia Ribeiro
Survivor income benefits for orphaned children of Google employees last 10 years, according to a company spokesperson.
- Crisp 1986 via Flickr
New parents at Bain & Co. can take advantage of in-office massages and manicures, sleep and stress-management sessions, and yoga.