When South Carolina’s governor ordered schools to close due to the coronavirus outbreak, leadership at SC Telco Federal Credit Union in Greenville, S.C., knew the order would impact employees who didn’t have access to childcare.
“We knew this decision would put stress on all working parents, so our goal was to provide as many options as possible for our team members,” says Brian McKay, president/CEO of the $400 million asset credit union.
While some employees can work remotely, McKay says some positions can’t, such as front-line staff. To assist these employees, the credit union created Kids Kamp, which allows employees to bring their children—from kindergarten through eighth grade—to the corporate office during business hours, and they will be supervised.
The credit union’s training room is now the hub of Kids Kamp, where children work on craft projects, go for walks, decorate the sidewalks with chalk, play with toys, and stream movies. They also work on school assignments.
Staff voluntarily pick up shifts to supervise the children, and some family members of staff also have helped, including a graduate student who is conducting online classes and a teacher.
Staff voluntarily pick up shifts to supervise children who are at Kids Kamp.
“Guided by our core value of having the heart of a servant, our leadership team has been able to extend peace of mind to our staff and provide a tangible way to help them during this difficult time,” McKay says. “We know that when we take care of our employees, they are well-positioned to take care of our members. It’s a win-win.”
Nine families have brought their children to Kids Kamp, and there has been an average of six children per day.
Employees are grateful they have this option for childcare.
“SC Telco Federal has gone above and beyond with assisting their staff with childcare during the pandemic,” says Allison Lunsford, a compliance analyst at the credit union who brought her 5-year-old son to Kids Kamp. “My husband and I both work, and we don’t have relatives nearby that can assist with childcare. The compassion and understanding SC Telco has shown its employees is tremendous.
“Not only does my son have someone trustworthy looking out for him, staff are also assisting him with his schoolwork, which frees up some time when we get home.”
After mentioning the program in the CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Community, SC Telco has received requests from other credit unions interested in learning more details and setting up their own version of the program, says Sam Hammack, senior vice president of talent management.