By Jon Delano

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh city employees are about to get a new benefit: child care for their kids, including infants and toddlers.

“We are going to be providing on-site child care for our city staff for 15 days when the Pittsburgh Public Schools are closed but we remain open, so that could be in-service days, voting day,” Tiffini Simoneaux, the city’s child care manager, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday. “We’re going to have child care here on site.”

In other words, when school is off but city workers must work, a pop-up child care company called Flexable LLC will convert a room in the City-County Building to a secured child care center.

“What pop-up child care basically is, is the ability to use space that is already in an organization like a conference room or an office,” says Priya Amin, with Flexable. “We have vetted caregivers who have background checks and clearances, as well as CPR and first aid training. They bring all of their own supplies, so games, toys, and crafts.”

The IKEA room of Mayor Bill Peduto’s offices, named because the furniture and lighting was provided by IKEA, has also been a child care room.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

And here’s what’s really interesting about this new program.

It’s free child care for City of Pittsburgh employees.

Delano: “Why do city employees get free child care and yet city taxpayers are footing the bill?”

Simoneaux: “Sure, we look at this as really a way to retain our staff and attract staff.”

There’s no doubt that being family-friendly attracts quality workers

Delano: “But most city taxpayers have to fend for themselves.”

Simoneaux: “That’s true. What we’re looking at in the city is we want to show what it looks like to have those family-friendly practices.”

The daycare is limited to 15 days when schools are closed and the city is open.

But one benefit for all — on-site child care will be provided for all parents attending up to 20 city-wide community hearings.

Total cost to taxpayers — around $44,000.