HUMBOLDT, Tenn.—Tyson Foods announced it plans to build an on-site child-care and learning facility at its new Humboldt, Tennessee, poultry processing plant, and recently announced a program at its Amarillo, Texas, beef plant, to work with two local providers to provide free child care for second-shift workers.
The $3.5 million Humboldt facility, expected to be operational in 2023, will support as many as 100 children, five years of age and younger, and employ a staff of 18. Called Tyson Tykes, it will be operated as an early childhood learning center by KinderCare and subsidized by the company to lower the cost for Tyson team members.
The Tyson beef plant in Amarillo employs more than 4,000 people. The company recently donated nearly $400,000 to the Wesley Community Center and Maverick Boys and Girls Club of Amarillo to refurbish their facilities to accommodate the children of Tyson team members. The funding will also help provide transportation, increased security, commercial refrigerators, cots and tutoring. Each facility will support as many as 40 children, and Tyson expects to invest close to $500,000 to cover tuition for team members participating in the program.
“For nearly a century, ‘care’ has been at the heart of Tyson culture,” said John R. Tyson, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. “These child-care pilots reflect that culture as well as our goal of becoming the most sought-after place to work. Over the past few months, as part of our efforts to recruit and retain frontline team members, we’ve also piloted more flexible work hours, raised wages and benefits, provided $50 million in year-end bonuses and in January, will start providing paid sick leave.”
The efforts are helping improve the company worker recruiting and retention rates.
According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employee Benefits 2019 survey, only 4% of companies offer a subsidized child-care center or program, while another 4% offer a nonsubsidized child-care center on-site or nearby.
Sheetz offers an on-site child-care facility called Little Sproutz Early Learning Center at its operations support center in Claysburg, Pennsylvania, just south of its Altoona headquarters. The center is open to the children—and grandchildren—of the more than a thousand support workers at the Claysburg site.
Little Sproutz opens at 4:45 a.m. “We have employees who start very early. Sometimes employers forget employees need to get their children to care and then get to work on time,” said Stephanie Doliveira, Sheetz’s vice president of human resources.
Sheetz partners with Bright Horizons, a Watertown, Massachusetts-based child-care provider that also offers back-up child care and elder care. “We recognized early on that we are not the experts in early learning or child care,” Doliveira said.
Casey’s also provides on-site child care through its Child Development Center at its headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa. The center provides care for about 80 children every day, starting at 6:45 a.m. There are developmental programs for newborns through pre-kindergarten, and children up to 12 years old can attend during school breaks and the summer months. The center provides both full- and part-time care, in addition to drop-in options, according to Kate Petru, director of communications. “The child-care center is highly subsidized through Casey’s,” she said.
Learn more about how some retailers are helping employees find affordable, reliable child care in the NACS Magazine article “The Child-Care Crunch.”