Employer-Supported Child Care Drives Economic Growth: Report


SEPTEMBER 27, 2017

Jakarta. Better and more affordable child care is seen as a critical driver of economic growth, with companies across the globe realizing that offering child care services for their employees has a positive impact on their businesses, says a report released on Wednesday (27/09).

The study by the World Bank Group's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), found that employers who offered child care experienced substantial reduction in employee turnover, saw increased productivity through reduced absences, greater focus, enhanced motivation and commitment.

The study titled "Tackling Childcare: the Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare" also found examples of improved gender diversity and advancement of women into leadership positions, when child care services were offered by their companies.

One of the key barriers to women participation in the labor force has been identified as the lack of access to child care.

Countries such as Brazil, India and Jordan have recognized the impact of providing child care in boosting women's employment and introduced policies that require businesses to provide it.

Investing in child care can reap benefits that result in a win-win situation for the employees, their children, as well as the companies and economies.

According to Nena Stoiljkovic, vice president of blended finance and partnerships at IFC, meeting challenges of the 21st century will require full and equal participation of both women and men.

"Child care is part of the solution, and while many companies want to support their employees' child care needs, they often lack information on what they can do and how they might benefit," Stoiljkovic said in a press release.

IFC relied on 10 case studies of companies around the world – from Japan to Brazil – which offered various child care options. With a focus on the private sector, which according to the organization accounts for about 90 percent of jobs in developing countries, the study emphasizes the private sector's role in creating more and better jobs.

"When working mothers and fathers participate equally in the workforce, they are more likely to increase their household incomes, and have a greater impact on the growth of companies and economies," the report said.

In addition, children with access to early childhood education and care benefits are better off in terms of health, performance at school, and are likely to become more productive adults.