Tyson Foods has opened a new employer-sponsored child care facility – the Tyson Learning Center – near the company’s poultry processing complex in Humboldt, Tennessee.
The Tyson Learning Center will offer greater access to affordable child care for Tyson Foods’ employees.
The nearly $5 million investment will support more than 100 children, 5 years of age and younger, and employ a staff of 20. It will be operated and managed by KinderCare. Tyson Foods will subsidize tuition to help lower the cost for its team members.
“I’m proud of our company’s approach to make high-quality child care accessible and affordable for our team members. We recognize child care services can be a barrier to enter the workforce, which is why we have worked on this solution to provide child care options that support our team members,” said Johanna Söderström, EVP and chief people officer.
According to data compiled by Child Care Aware, the average price of child care in 2022 was nearly $11,000. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that child care cost no more than 7 percent of a parent’s annual income.
However, research shows many couples spend 10 percent of their median income, and a single parent can spend as much as 33 percent on child care. Through the Tyson Learning Center, parents receive a child care cost benefit that can be used to reduce other family expenses.
“We know from [KinderCare’s] Parent Confidence Report that child care benefits are second to health insurance in retaining employees, a benefit all the more important in rural areas like Humboldt, where there are more families needing care than there are child care options,” said Dan Figurski, president, KinderCare for Employers and Champions.
“We’re proud to partner with Tyson in supporting their working families in a center custom-designed to meet their specific needs. We’re looking forward to welcoming children to the Tyson Learning Center later this month.”
Tyson Foods was also honored with the Best Place for Working Parents Innovator award in a grand opening program attended by Tyson Foods and KinderCare executives and local and state leaders. Parents who work at the Tyson Foods’ Humboldt plant, whose children will attend the learning center, helped cut the ribbon and officially open the facility.
“As we considered the recipient of our first Best Place for Working Parents Innovator award, our aim was to recognize a company that truly epitomized what it means to be best in class. Tyson Foods emerged as a trailblazer in support of working parents,” said Sadie Funk, director of Best Place for Working Parents.
During the grand opening program held outside the Tyson Learning Center, Jude White, assistant commissioner for care and community services with the Tennessee Department of Human Services, recognized the need for more employers to make child care more accessible.
White announced the facility will award a $150,000 Establishment Grant providing financial support for furniture, equipment and curriculum costs associated with opening a new child care agency. Employees can also apply with the state for additional subsidies to further lower the cost of child care.