In both developed and developing countries, new parents facing the challenge of accessing reliable and quality childcare often have to make a difficult decision – whether to stay in the workforce or prioritise looking after their children themselves. The International Finance Corporation’s Tackling Childcare business case research (IFC, 2017) shows that companies can be an essential partner in addressing this challenge, as part of a potential quadruple win–win value proposition: ‘good for children’, ‘good for parents’, ‘good for employers’ and ‘good for economies’. But how do we move the needle on employer-supported childcare in a meaningful way?
Business drivers vary. Examples include the following:
Employers are legally required to support early childcare in 11 out of 50 economies examined by the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law programme: Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, India, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, the Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam (World Bank, 2017). In India, the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act (2017) recently required companies with over 50 employees to provide workplace access to a crèche facility. Companies are now looking for advice on how to choose the best childcare strategy for their business needs, and IFC has partnered with a childcare provider and others to conduct a survey to better understand the challenges and opportunities employers face and inform strategies for financing and implementing quality childcare provision.
We know that leading companies offer childcare solutions for their employees when they understand the benefits, including the business case for being in compliance. The critical measure of success will be whether the private sector – in partnership with government – can deliver childcare solutions that are affordable, safe, reliable and accessible to all parents, including those in the informal economy.
References can be found in the PDF version of the article.
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