Hundreds of Mazda Toyota employees take advantage of TOOTRiS child care program

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 11:48 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Childcare options are becoming more expensive and harder to find. Many employees in our area are finding some reprieve with employer-subsidized childcare options. Workplaces like Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) are signing on to TOOTRiS to find a quality, affordable and safe childcare

MTM started offering subsidized childcare through TOOTRiS as a benefit in April 2022 and leaders say a hundred people signed up in the first month, and a few hundred more followed suit. TOOTRiS is an online childcare platform that connects parents with more than 180,000 local licensed providers.

“I think they’ll tell you firsthand that everything they hoped the child care benefit would be in terms of keeping the employees they have, bringing in new employees,” says Jeff McAdam, TOOTRiS Creative Director of Press and Media. “It has worked so much so that you have all these other companies in Huntsville in the last couple months that are saying, ‘it’s our turn we’d like to sign up too.’”

TOOTRiS is growing rapidly in the Tennessee Valley. Huntsville has some of the most users across the country because TOOTRiS is popular with manufacturing jobs according to McAdam. The non-traditional schedules and competitive wages make them prime users for the database.

MTM External Affairs Specialist Jessica Luther says it’s helped recruit and retain female workers. Mothers are usually the primary caretakers of children in the household and this program keeps them from having to choose between a job and childcare

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting

“I think it’s not just an issue of women entering the workforce but also an issue of women deciding to stay in the workforce because as childcare costs rise, I think sometimes the decision is ‘Am I making enough money to make this worth it? Is my company supportive enough for me to justify continuing to work?” says Luther.

MTM gives workers $250 dollars a month to go towards childcare costs.

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