When it opened for business in the 1930s, Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. offered its customers pre-payment hospital coverage plans. Back then, it was a novel idea – and one that helped Horizon grow into New Jersey's top healthcare provider. Today, the company recognizes that the ideas and talents of its workforce have helped it thrive. It also recognizes that meeting the needs of its workforce plays a key factor in continued success. And decades on, that's the novel idea.
With an employee population that is more than 80% female, Horizon supports its 5,100 workers with an innovative benefit program. This includes an on-site child care facility at Horizon's Newark headquarters as well as offering backup child care at its seven regional locations for times when usual care arrangements are disrupted.
"We try to do what we can to lessen the burden for working mothers," states Alison Banks-Moore, Horizon's Chief Diversity Officer, EO/AA, Work Life Initiatives. "The care benefits are a huge help for those who utilize them."
But great ideas require great execution, and Horizon's original child care provider wasn't able to live up to the organization's core value of excellence. The nationwide search for a new provider led to KinderCare Education at Work (KCE) because it could deliver on three main criteria:
- Strong Operational Expertise. A documented track record of successfully transitioning and managing corporate child care centers
- Advanced Curriculum. A focus on developing the children academically, emotionally, socially, and physically
- Attentiveness to Care. Providing a warm, nurturing environment in which the children would thrive
For KCE, Horizon's dilemma was not new. In its history, KCE has successfully transitioned centers serving corporations, universities, hospitals, government agencies, and other organizations. It came in with a structured process that emphasized open and frequent communication between parents, Horizon, the KCE transition team, and the new center staff. Experience produced success.
"The center definitely gained more popularity once it became known a new provider was running it," Alison stated. "The word of mouth has been fantastic." The proof? The increased enrollment Alison and her peers saw at the center. With such strong results, Horizon decided to add in-center Backup Child Care to its benefit options.
The ROI on the programs KCE runs for Horizon is tangible – increased productivity from fewer missed work days, longer tenured employees, and leveraging the programs to attract top talent. But it's comments like this one, from a parent served by the center, that underscore the added value of the center: "The people are what make this center stand out. The staff is very friendly and seems genuinely concerned about all the kids there. I enjoy the fact that my daughter feels the need to hug everyone before she leaves; the staff is definitely her family away from home. I have no worries when I'm working throughout the day."
In its history, KCE has successfully transitioned centers serving corporations, universities, hospitals, government agencies, and other organizations.
"One of the most compelling reinforcing reasons for the average long tenure of our employees? They really like being here and are proud of what they do."– ALISON BANKS-MOORE, CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER