Jane Boyd with a few little friends at the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Child Care Program which opened in September 2009.
Recent story from Burnaby Now below:
It's a rare perk that many employees hope for but few find.
On-site child care is occasionally offered by universities, colleges and federal government agencies, but it isn't common in the private sector.
But Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has taken on the problem of sparse child-care options at its headquarters in Burnaby. The company relocated to Burnaby in 2009 and included plans for a child-care centre for employees' children in the design of its facilities.
"We researched what other companies offer employees," Vic Pospiech, vice-president of human resources, says.
Child-care was one of the top items on the wish list of employees, he adds.
"One of the things that came to light was the acute shortage of child-care in Burnaby," Pospiech says.
When designing the new facilities, representatives of Ritchie Bros. met with city officials. Mayor Derek Corrigan was very supportive of the plan to include child-care, he adds.
The centre has space for 45 full-time children, but there are about 60 kids in all that use it throughout the year – some part-time or just during the summer, according to Pospiech.
The company also offers many other amenities to employees, including the Kelowna Café.
The company hasn't offered anything like the café in the past, Pospiech says, but because of the location of the building, felt it was important to provide a subsidized place for employees to get good food.
"We've always bent over backwards to try to provide amenities to our employees," he adds.
Other perks include a beer garden on Friday afternoons (with juice and pop for non-drinkers), video games for employee breaks, and a social committee that organizes children's Christmas parties, provides muffins on Fridays and plans themed lunches for holidays and events, Pospiech says. There is also a workout area with treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, a stair climber, a rowing machine, and universal and free weights.
The headquarters in the Big Bend neighbourhood is a LEED Gold-certified facility, the first in Burnaby, with more than 300 employees.