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Bright Horizons Responds to National Health Emergency With Pandemic Alert Back-Up Child Care Solutions
Date:5/1/2009

WATERTOWN, Mass., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Bright Horizons Family Solutions LLC, the world's leading provider of employer-sponsored child care and early education, back-up care, and work/life solutions, today announced a new emergency or "back-up" child care solution to help employers and working families manage during times of public health emergencies, like those related to influenza A H1N1 (swine flu), when schools are closed and regular child care is not available due to possible health risks.

"We are offering this new program to provide employers with immediate access to a wide range of back-up child and elder care solutions that solve their business challenges, families' needs, and support the best practices in preventive health measures in the face of this national public health emergency," said Bright Horizons CEO Dave Lissy. "In keeping with our core mission, this service provides children with excellent care, gives parents the peace-of-mind they need to be present and productive at work, and offers employers creative answers to real time business needs."

To help employers support their employees, who have dependents whose schools close but who are not suffering from swine flu symptoms as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Bright Horizons has launched Back-Up Care Advantage: Crisis Care Assist, a new program where employers can provide their employees with a benefit that allows them to a) access a nationwide network of in-home child care providers; and/or b) secure payment for care they arrange within their family or existing social network. This program provides a vital service while not opening new social connections that can spread the risk of exposure in the face of a potential flu pandemic. Through the program, care is also available anytime of day or night and for any duration necessary, which can be especially beneficial to hospital workers, for instance, who may have to work overnight shifts or extended hours due to high demands in the face of a national health emergency.

Many families across the U.S. rely on the use of a back-up child care center when their child's school is closed for unexpected reasons like snow days or for planned reasons like school vacation week or professional development days. However, this week the CDC warned parents and employers in districts with swine flu-related school closings that parents should not send children to another group care setting because that risks further exposure. For employees and employers already reeling from productivity demands due to the downturn in the economy, this poses an additional business dilemma.

Bright Horizons' Back-Up Care Advantage: Crisis Care Assist will give an employer's workforce the option of securing in-home care from a licensed provider or by using a personally arranged caregiver, such as a relative, family friend, or familiar babysitter. In addition, in partnership with Sittercity.com, families will also have access to the site's hundreds of thousands of caregivers, who have been equipped with Pandemic Flu Preparedness Kits, whom they can screen, interview and even conduct background checks on.

While back-up care can typically take employers months to activate, Bright Horizons' Back-Up Care Advantage: Crisis Care Assist can be implemented within 48 hours for even large multi-site employers. Employers interested in Bright Horizons' Back-Up Care Advantage: Crisis Care Assist should contact Kerri Torres at ktorres@brighthorizons.com or call 800-453-9383 ext. 8720.

Bright Horizons is also developing customized child care solutions for employers with unique needs in the face of the current pandemic alert, such as those in heavily impacted areas, hospitals and other health care providers, and those under extreme productivity demands.

About Bright Horizons Family Solutions(R)

Bright Horizons Family Solutions(R) (www.brighthorizons.com) is the world's leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, back-up care, early education, and work/life solutions. The company operates more than 700 child care and early education centers across the U.S., in Europe, and Canada, including more than 80 dedicated back-up child care centers and more than 45 back-up care programs within full-service child care centers. Bright Horizons was recently named one of FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America."


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SOURCE Bright Horizons Family Solutions LLC
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