The International Finance Corporation(IFC), a member of The World Bank Group released the report ‘Tackling Childcare: The Business Case of Employer – Supported Childcare. The report discusses how companies deal can analyze their workforce to provide the child-care support their employees need.
This report is an extension of the Tackling Childcare Partnership. In 2016, IFC partnered with 11 firms across the world to promote better opportunities for working parents and accelerate the spread of better practices for employer- child healthcare.
One of the companies that stood out on their employer-sponsored childcare was Safaricom. According to the global ledger, out of their 5,000 employees, 51% are women. Some of the services provided by the company include;
- Paid maternity leave beyond stipulated time period. Fathers also get 2 weeks leave.
- Reduced working week hours at full-time pay.
- Provision of breastfeeding rooms or rooms where mothers can expel milk. There are also rooms provided to facilitate the children’s nap time.
- Shift preference systems at all centres
- On-site doctors
- Medical Insurance that includes the children.
The report results indicated that employers who provided childcare services experienced a reduction in employee turnover. The quality of applicants also improved because people want to work in areas where they can still provide parental support to their infants.
The report also showed that employer-sponsored childcare services led to increased productivity in the workplace. There were also reduced absences since parents do not have to stay home to take care of their young ones. These services also boosted employee motivation and commitment of employees to their roles.
The results also showed that providing facilities for women to take care of their children improves gender diversity. This also propels the advancement of women into leadership roles. Supporting childcare allows more women and men to take part in paid labour. It takes away from the mentality that you need to choose between a career and being a parent.
In regards to the children, those have access to education and care are more likely to be healthier mentally and physically, perform well in school and eventually become productive adults. This can be attributed to children who feel neglected when their parents are often working. This can cause a child to feel detached leading them to act out to get attention.
The Tackling Childcare Partnership involves partners such as Safaricom, HBL Bank, Afrifresh among many more. The aim of this partnership is not only to ensure that parents and their children enjoy the best services they can at the workplace but also to address gender gaps in employment. IFC released this report with the help of these partners as well as strategic partners, including Care.com, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; the International Labour Organization, Kidogo, the UN Global Compact; and UN Women.
This is because private companies account for 9 out of 10 jobs in developing countries. Most women feel the needed to quit their jobs so they can take care of their children. Employee-sponsored childcare services can go a long way to reduce this.
Employers can strive to provide better childcare services by;
- Providing assistance during working hours. Hiring of trained professionals to look after the children while parents work.
- Staff training on child care and management.
- Financial assistance- This can be through setting up of a company fund to assist parents with their newborns.
There is growing need to provide parents with a working environment to raise their children. Not only for their benefit but their children’s benefit and eventually the companies benefit.