Quality Childcare in the Workplace - A Step-By-Step Guide for Employers
Canavan, A. (2000). Quality Childcare in the Workplace - A Step-By-Step Guide for Employers. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/194
In Ireland the world of work is changing fast: unemployment is at an all-time low; labour turnover is escalating; and there is a skills shortage in some sectors of the economy. We are all too familiar with the widespread difficulties faced by employers in attracting and retaining staff. Recognising that the labour market growth has primarily been driven by women's participation in the workforce, employers are increasingly looking to women as potential employees. However, in spite of recent trends, Ireland still has one of the lowest labour market female participation in Europe (8% lower than the EU average). Less than 30% of the 400,000 women with children under 15 are in full-time employment. Women continuously cite the lack of good quality, affordable childcare as a primary obstacle to participation in the world of work. In this country at present, there is a virtual crisis in the supply of childcare. Every day we hear about women who could not return to work after their maternity leave because they could not find suitable childcare arrangements. Others have been forced to give up work when childminding arrangements break down or because they cannot afford the costs. It is not surprising then that more and more employing organisations are focusing their attention on child-friendly measures that will help them compete more favourably for suitable staff. If 20% of those mothers who are not currently active in the labour force were encouraged back into employment, this would create a pool of 50,000 potential employees. IBEC, 1999 The purpose of this booklet is to provide you, the employer, with information that will assist you in introducing practical child-friendly measures to support parents in reconciling work and family life. It also aims to highlight the importance of introducing quality measures where the needs and safety of children are central. Your response to the childcare needs of your employees depends on your organisation size, industry, location, economic situation and employee profile. You can select the most suitable options based on the advantages of each, the capacity to address employee needs and the ability to respond to your goals and resources. A number of options are presented. Some require substantial investment. Others require a little thought and creativity with minimal financial input. The ultimate aim of this publication is to help you find ways to increase your chances of maintaining a workforce that is happy, loyal, committed and effective.