A study in ten countries by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has revealed that child care support services at work are a boon, contrary to long held assumptions that they are expensive yet not investments.
In the study in which Safaricom was the only Kenyan company involved, it revealed that child support services while they target mothers, fathers also thrive since they their loved ones are at peace.
IFCs Country Manager Moses Manuel, said the study revealed that this investment boosts productivity, staff morale, organizational profits and the economy in general. He was emphatic that these services are opportunity to free up women to allow them to work better which gives the organization solid and dedicated work force.
Ann Kabugi, Senior Gender Specialist – Africa IFC added that the business case for child care services include better recruitment and retention of staff, enhanced corporate reputation, increased productivity, increased diversity of staff, improved employee relations and regulatory compliance. There is also high paternity and maternity return rates at more than 90 per cent.
However, a challenge that most company which provide these services is that they are largely available at the headquarters. There are also inadequate regulations and standards that should define a well-functioning child care support service.
Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs noted that all organizations need to have these services to better compete in the market. “Working mothers help guarantee strategic goals and attaining targets”, he emphasized. He added that Safaricom as an employer of choice, has 51 percent workforce being women.
Safaricom provides creches, mother’s rooms and facilities to support childcare at their headquarters.