Carleen Haylett. CEO of EnrichedHQ

Carleen Haylett

Employers must support mothers and parents, in general, to balance work with childcare, with the annual losses incurred due to parents missing work since 2020 reaching $122 billion, and businesses experiencing a yearly loss of $12.7 billion.

Due to childcare responsibilities, working parents, particularly mothers, are among the most prone to leave their employers.

Employers must devise strategies to retain working parents to the greatest extent possible, given the devastating repercussions caused by their departure.

However, despite providing better parental leave benefits, employers have not been successful in stanching the bleeding.

“Current benefits packages operate on the misconception that childcare ends after kindergarten. The truth is that a significant number of working parents are forced to scale back or quit their jobs to care for school-aged children,” explains Carleen Haylett. “Until employers acknowledge this reality, they are unlikely to find much success in preventing working parents from missing work.” 

In 2020, single mother and technology leader Carleen Haylett witnessed pandemic-driven gaps in the U.S. educational space when her fifth-grade son began to thrive with homeschooling. The schoolwork was manageable, but the lack of affordable virtual extracurricular programs available, which would stimulate his development as a student preparing for middle and high school, was a shock. Torn between motherhood and her career, corporate pressure mounted, she left her job.

She founded EnrichedHQ to solve the logistical nightmare of finding and managing options for kids who no longer need day care or a sitter, bridging childcare through high school. Leveraging her 20+ years in technology development, product management, and sales, she developed a platform that offers virtual extracurricular programs for middle and high school age children that enrich and prepare them for life. Working parents are able to find an immediate remedy for this common parental stressor through their employers. EnrichedHQ handles all the logistics, letting parents easily find, book, schedule, and pay for multiple virtual programs for multiple children across multiple providers. Both corporations and parents benefit from EnrichedHQ’s commitment.

Recognizing that most employers do not provide enough assistance to parents with school-aged children, EnrichedHQ has developed a marketplace of online programs designed for these children that can be subsidized by employers.

The logic is that these programs can substitute for after-school parental care, thereby freeing up parents and allowing them to commit more time to work.

Haylett believes that her solution can work because:

  • These programs can be subsidized by employers and offered as an extension of their benefits packages. This makes these programs cost-effective and thus an appealing alternative to traditional childcare methods such as extracurriculars and in-home care.
  • The marketplace takes care of most of the logistics associated with the programs, including scheduling, booking, and paying — for multiple children across multiple providers, saving parents significant time, which they can use to return to work.

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