California Bill Would Require Employers to Subsidize Emergency Childcare

California legislation was introduced on Thursday to mandate that employers with 1,000 employees or more subsidize the cost of emergency childcare arrangements.

Democratic Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo proposed the bill, which would cover 60 hours of backup care a year for parents with children under 14. The benefit is designed to support parents whose plans with a babysitter or after-school program are canceled last-minute. Employees would have a co-pay of as much as $6 an hour.

California Bill Would Require Employers to Subsidize Emergency Childcare

The bill would be the first-of-its-kind in the U.S. to mandate that companies offer backup childcare subsidies. The pandemic has exasperated the need for childcare as more than 2 million women and low-income workers left the workforce to care for their families. In January, an additional 275,000 women left their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill attempts to address problems facing working parents, but the plan faces bipartisan pushback over its hefty price tag. The plan includes provisions for expanded tax credits to cover childcare, 14 weeks of paid family leave and billions in funds to help schools reopen.

Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. Microsoft Corp., and Google parent Alphabet Inc. are among the corporations currently offering backup childcare benefits. Amazon.com Inc. temporarily offered backup childcare that ended in October. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos faced demands from a group of 1,800 female employees for permanent benefits in 2019.

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