It takes a village to raise children. At VA, we strive to be part of that village for our employees.
For two years in a row, we’ve ranked as sixth best place to work among the 17 largest federal agencies, in part because of our commitment to work-life balance.
In honor of National Parents’ Day on July 26, let’s take a look at the top eight ways VA helps provide the balance and support parents need while raising their kids.
- Child care subsidies
Kids are expensive, but no child-related expense has grown quite as fast as the cost of child care. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that child care costs have increased by just over 4% each year since 1960. That’s about twice the rate of inflation.
At VA, we help shoulder this cost for eligible parents. Contact your local HR office for more information on VA’s child care subsidies.
- On-site child care
Driving halfway across town to daycare and then battling traffic to get yourself to work on time can be a huge source of stress.
Good news: Some of our locations offer on-site child care centers. Enroll in one of our safe, nurturing child care programs and bring your child to work with you. You can even stop by and eat lunch with your child if you’d like.
We’re so committed to helping parents with child care that directors at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System recently opened a free child care center in a matter of days to help essential employees who needed someone to watch their children when schools closed unexpectedly.
“Parents who’ve brought their children have really enjoyed it,” said acting assistant director Belinda “Belle” Karabatsos. “They are glad to know their kids are being taken care of and close by. It’s more comforting for them.”
- Generous vacation and sick time
We know how quickly time passes when you’re a parent of young children. We help you make the most of those years with generous vacation time and 10 paid federal holidays. You’ll begin accruing vacation on your very first day and can earn 13-26 days off per year.
You’ll also get 13 sick days each year, with no limit on accumulation. If you or your child gets sick, you won’t have to worry about taking time off work.
- Paid parental leave
Beginning this fall, many VA employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid time off for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a new child.
The Office of Personnel Management is currently developing regulations, which are slated to go into effect on Oct. 1.
- Robust health care package
The health care your family needs is covered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which provides the widest selection of health plans in the country.
Whether you’re looking for plans with low deductibles, low premiums or health savings accounts, you’ll be able to find one that works best for you and your family’s health situation.
- Flexible work schedules
Breaking away from the traditional 9-to-5 workweek can help you save on child care costs, make it to T-ball games or enjoy three-day weekends with your kids.
Many VA positions let you flex your schedule to accommodate your needs and lifestyle. Choose to vary your arrival and departure times or work longer but fewer days during a pay period.
- Telework options
Many positions at VA also allow for telework on a regular or intermittent basis with a formal agreement.
We know the flexibility to work from home can be a great benefit for our employees, allowing them to achieve a better work-life balance, reduce stress and avoid the hassle of a long commute.
- Educational assistance
Continuing your education is a key part of advancing your career, but that can be hard to juggle with a full-time job and children at home.
We offer a wide range of education support programs that put money back into your pocket that would otherwise go to paying for school. They include education debt reduction and loan forgiveness, training incentive scholarships, nursing training support, programs for Veterans and more.
The VA National Education for Employees Program (VANEEP) scholarship lets our eligible employees get a VA salary while going to school full time for a health care degree or credential.
Work at VA
If you’re a working parent interested in a career serving Veterans, consider choosing VA.