‘It makes me feel like they care:’ South Central offers employee childcare

We all know the famous saying, “money makes the world go around.” That rings true for childcare too.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - We all know the famous saying, “money makes the world go around.” That rings true for childcare too.

Childcare is a critical support for working parents, and it can be a hassle to find a provider close to the workplace, let alone one at work.

However, some Pine Belt employers are doing just that and offering their employees crucial childcare benefits.

“As a parent myself, I put myself in their shoes,” said Laurie Hodg, director at South Central Children’s Academy in Laurel. “Looking for childcare, you want the best childcare facility, and I feel like South Central is that.”

Hodg said they provide a daycare specifically for South Central employees.

“As a parent and as a worker, it makes me feel important,” said Germecca Bolton, a registered nurse. “It makes me feel like they care, and they know that this job is important to me, but my baby is more important to me.”

Bolton has always loved her job. That love grew even more when she didn’t have to search far for childcare.

Bolton’s daughter has attended South Central Children’s Academy for nearly two years. It’s a place for which Bolton said she is beyond thankful.

“She’s less than a mile away from me,” Bolton said. “They are great with her. They call me. They text me.”

Hodg said she attributes satisfaction with the children’s academy as one of the reasons South Central employees choose to continue to work for the hospital.

“I know that it’s hard right now, a lot of places not having enough workers,” Hodg said. “And in the large industries, if they could provide some type of childcare, that might help.”

From hands-on to virtual learning to outdoor fun, childcare director Hodg said the school is a child’s second home. So it’s important all needs are met.

“We’re very proud to be able to allow our parents to have childcare here at this competitive rate in order for them to get three meals, two snacks, their education and curriculum, outside play and everything they would need,” Hodg said.

For Bolton, she said mornings would run smoothly as long as this benefit is available, avoiding excessive commute time outside of her job.

The hospital’s daycare is open from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; the cost is automatically deducted from employees’ paychecks.

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