You are here

Company Nurseries: Improving Performance and Quality of Life at Work

Published on
18 June 2017

For the past ten years, company nurseries have been widely promoted as they provide an important option to boost performance and improve quality of life when an employee starts or expands a family. Companies, both big and small, are just as supportive of nurseries as their employees are.



Aurélie Jean
+33 7 69 54 61 78

How is a company nursery born?

Aurélie Jean (GEM ESC 2003) is in charge of developing company nurseries for People & Baby in the Alpes Maritimes region. As the leader of online nursery networks (, People & Baby brings together more than 1,000 partners that are approved by the French social system and used by SMEs. The GEM alumni explains: "We are often contacted by future parents who work for an SME or major company. They connect us with the human resources department in order to set up an inter-company nursery solution. In other cases, a company will contact us as part of their social responsibility strategy to improve the quality of life of employees and gender equality."

600 companies and 80 local authorities

Created in 2004, People & Baby is a private initiative that was cofounded by Odile Broglin and Christophe Durieux. It's the first private nursery company in France and is owned 100% by its co-founders. The company currently employs 3,000 professionals of the baby industry and collaborates with 600 partner companies including startups, SMEs and major companies such as Thales and HP. In 2016, the company welcomed 7,500 babies in its 260 nurseries. The company's national network of nursery solutions is continuing to grow to meet the demands of companies and employees.

Improving productivity

"For parents, a group nursery solution is important in terms of finances and organization. But beyond that, nursery solutions directly impact on the productivity of employee-parents. This is all the more true because fathers are becoming more invested in childcare, and in general, such solutions help limit conflicts between professional and private life. Employees are grateful and feel valued when companies take into account such organizational challenges. These solutions are an effective means for companies to earn the loyalty of employees with high-value skills. Company nurseries are also powerful images for a company's social responsibility strategy and an important part of policies that encourage gender equality and quality of life at work," explains Aurélie.

What is the added value of a company nursery?

For companies:

  • They reduce and even eliminate absenteeism by employees who recently became parents. Company nurseries can welcome sick children. A nursery's director is often a childcare worker who is certified to give a child medicine.
  • They are important arguments that help differentiate startups and SMEs that are looking to attract high potential recruits.

For employees:

  • They guarantee a nursery spot for their child at the same price as a public nursery. Company nurseries are more flexible in terms of their schedule and they can more easily cope with complex issues such as recurring children's diseases.
  • They provide support for parents to start work again without taking parental vacation, which has had a particularly negative impact on the careers of female workers. They offer flexible and reliable childcare and even "emergency" childcare when for example a nanny is unexpectedly absent.

Government support for company nurseries

In 2003, France decided to help overcome a lack of public nurseries by opening the market up to private nurseries. In 2006, private nurseries accounted for 1,000 spots, in 2009, for 8,000 spots, 20,000 spots in 2012 and 40,000 spots in 2016. The government also provided companies with a tax cut that will reduce nursery costs by 50%. In addition, company taxes were reduced overall to help lower the burden. The government can also pay for up to 83% of the cost of a private nursery. As a result, the cost for parents is identical to public nurseries. However, private nurseries include additional services such as milk and diapers. At least half of all nursery food is also taken from organic sources.

On the same subject

  • Les conditions licites de la cybersurveillance du salarié
    Published on 25 January 2018

    Workplace Cyber Surveillance: Rights and Obligations

    Can a business spy on its employees? Yes, within certain limits. Discover how European courts regulate workplace cyber surveillance.

  • unemployment of young people in Europe
    Published on 26 October 2017

    Why is unemployment among young people so high?

    The STYLE project examines the causes and consequences of the unemployment of young people in Europe. Based on this work, Mark Smith has published, along with Jacqueline O’Reilly, Clémentine Moyart and Tiziana Nazio, a book “Youth employment” to...

  • Research: Safety at Work in the Construction Industry
    Published on 20 April 2017

    Safety at Work in the Construction Industry

    A recent study of safety at work in the construction industry provides insights to understand the evolution (and uberization) of work and potential safety risks.

  • Gazi Islam, professor of business administration at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 20 March 2017

    Is It Time to Work on the Weekend?

    How are markets and capital using new economic models to eat away at our free time on weekends? Gazi Islam, a researcher and professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, studies individual and organizational work experiences. He recently looked at how...

  • Published on 27 January 2017

    Basic income : a new worldwide policy?

    Universal Basic Income is not a new idea, it has already been explored in India, Canada or Finland. Mark Smith discusses the opportunity to set up a universal basic income in his the Conversation Global‘s article.

  • Research: the impact of performance evaluations on an individual's network.
    Published on 22 April 2016

    Research: Positive Performance Evaluations Help Employees Develop Internal Networks

    Interactions are an essential part of any organization. Whether it is receiving help from colleagues or gaining access to crucial information, developing a strong internal network makes it easier for an employee to get things done. This latest study...

  • Published on 01 February 2016

    How to Understand Managers, Researchers, and Chocolate-Chip Cookies

    How to Understand Managers, Researchers, and Chocolate-Chip Cookies This month Greg Molecke and Sanchayan Sengupta, both PhD full-time students at Grenoble Ecole de Management share their thoughts on what managers can learn from researchers and how...

  • Published on 16 July 2015

    Research: Unraveling the Link Between Managerial Risk-Taking and Innovation - the Mediating Role of a Risk-Taking Climate

    Innovation has become a crucial factor for companies looking to maintain their competitive advantage. Yet creating innovative ideas requires a certain level of risk-taking. While research on this subject has focused primarily on risk-taking at one...

  • Published on 07 November 2014

    Research : Digitization, Changing How We Work and Coordinate Projects

    All of us use digital tools and objects that can now be shared and combined in a variety of ways. This change has profoundly influenced the organization of work with projects being divided according to specialization and geographical location.