A local North Lauderdale business has pioneered an innovative solution to assist working parents in finding affordable and accessible childcare. The mastermind behind this progressive initiative is Steve Budraj, the dedicated site coordinator at Teleperformance in North Lauderdale.

Recognizing the hurdles faced by employees returning to the office post-pandemic, Budraj decided to delve deeper into the matter. He conducted a survey amongst staff, revealing a consistent concern: childcare costs. Logistical intricacies coupled with the soaring expenses of daycare facilities had become a substantial barrier for hardworking parents in his team.

Undeterred by the challenge, Budraj devised a strategic plan; it was a proposition that would both benefit employees and foster much-needed community collaboration. Leveraging a partnership with a local daycare, he proposed providing one of Teleperformance’s buildings at no cost, covering utilities. The groundbreaking offer extended further, giving Teleperformance employees an astounding 50 percent discount on daycare expenses.

Tracy Kurtz-McFadden, affiliated with the chosen daycare partner, Master Minds Academy, enthusiastically embraced the collaboration. The fully accredited preschool and daycare now stands proudly on the Teleperformance property, creating a convenient and supportive environment for working parents. This alliance not only aids the daycare by alleviating financial burdens but significantly contributes to the well-being of parents.

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Kurtz-McFadden emphasized that for individuals saving $700 monthly on childcare costs, those funds could be allocated to necessities such as diapers, formula, and household bills. This helps to underscore the practical and significant benefits for families in need of assistance with everyday items and expenses. 

Budraj’s initiative underscores his personal philosophy of caring for employees well. He believes that well-cared-for employees are an integral piece of cultivating customer loyalty and fostering brand growth. The success and positive reception from employees have prompted significant expansion plans. Teleperformance aims to implement this model across all 13 properties, ensuring widespread support for its workforce.

This innovative program couldn’t come at a more crucial time. Challenges associated with finding affordable childcare have intensified throughout the country, compounded by the ceasing of a federal program providing childcare funding to states during the pandemic. The repercussions have been severe, with an estimated 2,196 childcare programs in Florida projected to close, affecting over 212,000 children.

A report by the Century Foundation indicates that throughout the U.S., 3.2 million children could lose access to childcare, putting 70,000 programs at risk of closure. The impact is not merely financial; it extends to the workforce, disproportionately affecting women. The potential loss of affordable childcare could lead to over $9 billion per year in earnings loss for affected parents.

Florida, recognizing the severity of the situation, allocated $315 million in pandemic-related funding to childcare. However, challenges persist, including worker shortages and long waitlists for childcare centers. The state’s commitment to addressing these issues remains a work in progress.

The initiative spearheaded by Teleperformance in North Lauderdale serves as a window of hope, showcasing how businesses can proactively address societal challenges. By placing a premium on employee well-being and community collaboration, Teleperformance is creating a supportive work environment while also setting an example for others to emulate in these challenging times.