WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many families have struggled with childcare during the pandemic, but one Winfield company has found a way to bring the daycare to the workplace.
S and Y Industries has more than 100 employees, many of them with children who need to be cared for because of remote learning.
The company started with the idea to pay for its employees’ childcare, but once management found out a local daycare was at capacity, they went back to the drawing table and ended up creating an in-house childcare center called S and Y University.
“We have great employees,” said Matt Miers, general manager. “Anything we can do for them, it’s awesome. I hope more businesses do something like this.”
Miers said they wanted to help relieve the financial burden for employees, while also giving parents peace of mind while they’re working.
More than 10 students are now getting the need for online learning while their parents work in the building next door.
“It feels great,” said Ariel Estrada, shipping department worker. “It takes a little bit of weight off ourselves. We’re able to go ahead and concentrate on work, and once I’m home, I know the kids are home and got the help they needed.”
The company has several married couples as employees, making it difficult for them to find childcare that fits two working schedules.
“It’s amazing really because before they started this,” said Jill Conaway, engineering tech. “I had to go to third shift just to stay home with the kids and come in.”
Some parents are also getting care for their children with ADHD or other disabilities like Down Syndrome.
“They do so good with him,” said Conaway. “He loves it.”
If that’s not enough, the company has hired students from Southwestern College to be the caregivers for the kids while their parents are working.
The college students are studying education or working toward similar degrees and are able to gain experience while also earning a paycheck.
“I’m just grateful for this opportunity that our job has provided for us and help us for our children,” said Estrada.
Management said they will continue the childcare for as long as it’s needed, while also considering making it a permanent addition to the company.
S and Y industries has spent the time during the pandemic making motherboards for ventilators for COVID-19 patients.
For more information about the company, click here.