Childcare has become a significant issue for working parents, but a business network devoted to proving that “family-friendly is business-friendly” is trying to make a difference.

The Best Place for Working Parents” (BPWP) is a network of business leaders spreading the word about research-backed family-friendly business policies proven to benefit working parents and their employers.

According to its Fall 2023 National Trends Report, the business network has “expanded to 10 states and 17 regions across the United States, engaging businesses of every size and industry that boosting employee attraction, retention, loyalty, productivity, and engagement through research-backed family-friendly policies.”

Headquartered in Dallas, manufacturing company Sigma Pro earned an “Innovator Award” from BPWP in 2020 for turning a conference area into a childcare space, reported NBC 5 DFW.

“We had clients on site we could, you know, really knock their socks off with a pretty conference room,” Vivian Allen, president and CEO, told NBC 5. “We asked this question what would really matter to our employees.”

Allen saw that there were  “a lot of young families” and a “struggle to find childcare in this area, especially affordable childcare,” per NBC 5.

Instead of building a new conference area, Allen surveyed Sigma Pro employees and decided to create a licensed childcare facility on-site.

Duyen Ngo, a Sigma Pro employee, is grateful for the change.

“Whenever something happened, [my child] needed me, or like he got sick, I can just be here right there,” Ngo told NBC 5. “I don’t think I ever heard of a workplace where they care enough to think about your family, your kids, so I feel really appreciated.”

The business network, which annually recognizes organizations for supporting working parents through family-friendly policies and practices, described the challenges faced by today’s parents.

“Most parents are working parents, right? That means they have a full-time job, which means the response of the workforce has to look different,” Sadie Funk, national director of BPWP, told NBC 5.

Nearly 10 years ago, Funk and Sara Redington, chief philanthropy officer at The Miles Foundation, launched BPWP in the hopes that it would prompt leaders across all sectors of the workforce to consider creating policies that benefit both businesses and working parents.

Some of these policies include backup childcare, company-paid healthcare coverage, and remote working options, which have been in higher demand since the COVID-19 pandemic, per NBC 5.

BPWP features several case studies on its website that show how mixing business and personal life may not be all that bad.

In fact, the business network cites research showing that businesses that provide childcare see absences decrease by 30%. Moreover, employees who work from home have increased their productivity by 13%.

BPWP offers an online assessment that can determine whether a business qualifies for a “Best Place for Working Parents” designation or Innovator Award and how to improve upon a company’s structure to create a better workplace for parents.