Have Kids? 3 Benefits to Look for in a New Job

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  • The right benefits package could save you money when you have kids.
  • Think about your childcare, health insurance, and vacation needs when considering a job offer.

They're perks worth going after.

Many people seek out new jobs in the hopes of growing their salaries. And to be clear, that's not a bad thing to do at all. A higher salary could be your ticket to building savings and meeting other important financial goals, like putting your kids through college or upsizing to a larger living space.

But salary is just part of the picture to look at when assessing an offer. It's also important to consider what workplace benefits are on the table. This especially holds true if you have kids. In fact, here are a few specific perks that parents should seek out when applying to jobs.

1. Backup care

Many parents have to secure childcare to do their jobs. But sometimes, those arrangements can fall through. You might have your child enrolled in a local daycare center. But if a storm comes through that takes out its power, you might have nowhere to put your child for the day.

Similarly, you might hire a nanny to come to your home daily to look after your child. But if your nanny calls out sick, you could end up out of luck.

That's why it's important to find a job that offers backup care. These programs vary, and they run the gamut from offering a private babysitter in your home to providing a slot at a nearby care center. Either way, backup care is an important option to have -- in particular for parents whose kids aren't yet school age.

2. Good health insurance

Children have a tendency to get hurt or pick up germs that leave you running to the doctor frequently. That's why it's so important to have solid health insurance. While it's true that adults can get sick or injured, these things tend to be even more common in young children who may be less mindful about jumping from high surfaces or licking their fingers after dropping toys on the floor.

3. A generous amount of paid time off

Ask any parent in any part of the country how much coverage they need for those non-school and non-camp days, and they'll tell you "a lot." Many parents pay a small fortune for summer camp programs that they use as a means of childcare. But those programs often leave a multi-week gap between camp and school. Throw in winter break, spring break, and random days off, and parents are often left to scramble in the absence of having enough vacation time.

If you're in the market for a new job, aim to find one that offers a large number of vacation days. Or, at the very least, try to find an employer that's flexible on those days when you don't have childcare and can work a little, but have to juggle your job with parenting tasks.

The right benefits package could make balancing parenthood and work much easier. Be sure to keep these perks on your radar as you explore different opportunities.

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