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What Can Jawnt Do for Childcare Providers?

When John Maher, owner of Primrose School of Center City Philadelphia, started looking for employee benefits, transit was top-of-mind.

Jawnt Team
January 1, 2024

When John Maher, owner of Primrose School of Center City Philadelphia, started looking for employee benefits, transit was top-of-mind. “I had heard about the Key Advantage Program and started looking into it because I thought it would be a great benefit to give to my team.” Maher is one of many in the childcare industry looking to bring transit benefits to his employees, and currently uses Jawnt to offer and manage those benefits. And his employees are taking notice. As Maher says, “We have about 37 eligible employees, and in any given month, 26 or 27 of them are taking advantage of it. Anybody who is taking public transit is signing up for it.”

Talent acquisition & retention

For childcare agencies, acquiring and retaining childcare workers is paramount–but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. As per the Center for American Progress, “According to the latest data, in September 2023, the child care sector was still down about 39,400 workers compared with February 2020 levels.” Demand for childcare workers is still high, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to fill those jobs. One of the key reasons for this is compensation. Many childcare workers are finding better-paid work outside of the childcare industry, including in food service and retail. Building a competitive compensation package for childcare providers is more important than ever–and Jawnt can help. By offering pre-tax transit benefits to employees, or by covering their commuting costs, employers can be more attractive to potential employees.

When asked if transit benefits through Jawnt were helping more with acquisition or retention, John said “It’s a little bit of both. For my existing staff, it’s a very welcome benefit. When we interview people and tell them about it, it’s a significant increase for them.”

Saving you & your employees money

By offering pre-tax transit benefits to your employees, you can save them ~30% on their commuting and parking costs, and in cities with an institutional fare program like the SEPTA Key Advantage, the savings can be even steeper. For Maher’s employers, “They’re able to pay $25 into it, pre-tax, as opposed to the $110 they were paying before. People are certainly appreciative about that.” But those savings don’t stop at just employees. Pre-tax benefits also help companies lower their payroll taxes, making it a total win-win!

Maintaining compliance

Childcare providers are no strangers to making sure their credentials are in order and they’re compliant with local business regulations–whether that’s a Family Child Care credential for staff, or making sure the health code at a given location is up-to-date. Plenty of cities, states, and municipalities–like Philadelphia and Chicago–have instituted transit mandates. Most of the time, these mandates require that businesses over a certain size offer pre-tax transit benefits to their employees. Jawnt can help you keep in compliance by offering those benefits!

Business sustainability

While demand for childcare is high, parents and guardians can still be incredibly selective with where they send their children, and who they choose to care for them. After all, childcare can be one of the largest expenses in a given household. As per a 2018 report by Child Care Aware, childcare for one child can take up to 13% of an average two-parent household’s income. It’s no wonder every aspect of a childcare business could come under the microscope. Offering pre-tax transit benefits to employees and encouraging public transit use is an easy way to show prospective customers who care about the environment that you do, as well. 


The benefits of more accessible transportation don’t stop at retaining employees or saving your business money. Many childcare businesses are still struggling with getting administrative or managerial employees back into the office post-COVID. 

While in-person collaboration and problem-solving is valuable, it’s natural that employees who have become accustomed to working from home may not want to return. Commutes add additional hours onto an employee’s day, and if they’re sitting in traffic or fighting for a parking space, those extra hours become very stressful ones. 

By offering more accessible, cheaper, and easier transit through Jawnt, employers can demonstrate their willingness to work with employees to get them back in the office, while also saving them money and easing some stress–all before they clock in. 

Interested in seeing what Jawnt can do for your business? Get in touch with our team today.


Jawnt Team

The Jawnt blog

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