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Global Forum for Childcare

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Global Forum for Childcare

For parents, policymakers, practitioners and businesses/employers

Some resources will be available in multiple languages

Childcare Resources to Share?
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Childcare Landscape

Care Work and Care Jobs for the Future of Decent Work
This report takes a comprehensive look at unpaid and paid care work and its relationship with the changing world of work. A key focus is the persistent gender inequalities in households and the labour market, which are inextricably linked with care work.

Improving early childhood development: WHO guideline
While it is primarily the family who provides the nurturing care that children need to develop in the earliest years, many parents and other caregivers need support to put this into practice. Therefore, the guideline contains four recommendations aimed at caregivers, health care providers and other workers who can assist them, as well as policy-makers and other stakeholders.

Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe – 2019 Edition
The report provides indicators on the key quality areas of governance, access, staff, educational guidelines as well as evaluation and monitoring. Cross-cutting these key areas, it presents a child-centered approach, with special attention being paid to the inter-relatedness of policies in different areas. 

Better Jobs and Brighter Futures: Investing in Childcare to Build Human Capital
This new World Bank Group reporthighlights how investments in childcare can increase women’s employment and productivity, create new jobs, improve child outcomes, drive economic growth, and support a more resilient and inclusive recovery from the pandemic. It also looks at how investing in quality, affordable childcare is key to unlocking pathways out of poverty.

Tackling Childcare Pakistan: A market study on the benefits and challenges of employer-supported childcare 
This IFC study, part of a collaboration between IFC and Pakistan Business Council, surveyed 140 private sector employers in Pakistan, in addition to interviewing working parents, policymakers, and childcare providers, to identify challenges and opportunities for expanding employer-supported childcare and other family-friendly policies in Pakistan.

Strengthening Inclusion Strategies for Children with Disabilities (CWD) within the Context of Care Reform
This paper explores the reasons why a strategic approach to inclusion in care reform is essential, and then follows on to make the case for defining three pillars for successful inclusion policy. The paper concludes with a recommendation for a sustainable model or practice, and then responds to three questions that may have particular relevance to a donor agency, based on the arguments put forth in this paper.

Childcare Policy

Family-Friendly Policies A Policy Brief Redesigning the Workplace of the Future
The recommendations presented in this policy brief cover four sets of effective policies that span pregnancy to when children start formal schooling. These policies help to address the needs of parents and families for adequate time, resources, and services to care for their young children, while fulfilling their work obligations, staying in their jobs and improving/unlocking their skills and productivity. 

A summary of research findings on women informal workers and child care from six membership-based organizations
This publication is a summary of “Our children do not get the attention they deserve”: A synthesis of research finding on women informal workers and child care from six membership-based organizations, which reports on the findings of a five-city research study examining women informal workers’ access to child care in Brazil, Ghana, India, South Africa, and Thailand.

Quality childcare services for workers in the informal economy
This is the first of three policy briefs. WIEGO and ILO highlight both the urgent childcare needs of women workers in the informal economy and the demands for decent working conditions for childcare workers and domestic workers – most of whom are women working in the informal economy.

Labour and human rights frameworks promoting childcare for all workers
This is the second of three policy briefs. WIEGO and ILO highlight both the urgent childcare needs of women workers in the informal economy and the demands for decent working conditions for childcare workers and domestic workers – most of whom are women working in the informal economy.

Extending childcare services to workers in the informal economy: Policy lessons from country experiences
This is the third of three policy briefs. WIEGO and ILO highlight both the urgent childcare needs of women workers in the informal economy and the demands for decent working conditions for childcare workers and domestic workers – most of whom are women working in the informal economy.

Childcare from the Perspective of Women in the Informal Sector
This policy brief posits that addressing the child care needs of women informal workers – by providing quality childcare services for such workers and valuing their paid childcare work; and enforcing their labor rights, including those of domestic workers – helps women informal workers realize their rights and access economically empowering opportunities. 

Support Programs for Home-Based Child Care: A Global Study 
Home-based child care (HBCC) is a form of non-parental child care that takes place within the home of either the child or the provider, as opposed to a center. Paid and unpaid forms of HBCC are widely used by families for many reasons including affordability, cultural relevance, and accessibility.

Better Jobs and Brighter Futures: Investing in Childcare to Build Human Capital 
This new World Bank Group reporthighlights how investments in childcare can increase women’s employment and productivity, create new jobs, improve child outcomes, drive economic growth, and support a more resilient and inclusive recovery from the pandemic. It also looks at how investing in quality, affordable childcare is key to unlocking pathways out of poverty.

Strengthening Inclusion Strategies for Children with Disabilities (CWD) within the Context of Care  Reform 
This paper explores the reasons why a strategic approach to inclusion in care reform is essential, and then follows on to make the case for defining three pillars for successful inclusion policy. The paper concludes with a recommendation for a sustainable model or practice, and then responds to three questions that may have particular relevance to a donor agency, based on the arguments put forth in this paper.

Investing in Free Universal Children in South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay: A comparative analysis of costs, short-term employment effects and fiscal revenue *JUST ADDED
This discussion paper makes the case for investing in free universal childcare services of high quality in order to reduce gender inequality in earnings and employment. It estimates the employment-generating and fiscal effects of investing in free universal childcare in three middle income countries: South Africa, Uruguay, and Turkey. 

The Impact of Early Childhood Interventions on Mothers *JUST ADDED
This paper reviews nearly 500 recent empirical studies of early childhood development interventions in low- and middle-income countries and find that 22% report on non-parenting outcomes for mothers, although many ECD interventions impacts mothers’ time, mental health, labor market participation, and other aspects empowerment and only 4% of studies report impacts on caregivers’ labor market participation. The paper finds that daycare interventions tend to boost women’s labor force participation and that group-based parent training tends to boost women’s mental health.

Government-Supported Childcare

Childcare and Working Families: New Opportunity or Missing Link?
This brief argues for greater investment in affordable and quality childcare, highlighting its potential to secure a ‘triple dividend’ of young children’s positive development, women’s empowerment and economic growth.

Cost-Effective Public Daycare in a Low-Income Economy Benefits Children and Mothers
This paper evaluates the impacts of a public program that introduced access to part-time childcare centers for children younger than four years of age in poor urban areas in Nicaragua.

Linking Family-Friendly Policies to Women’s Economic Empowerment
This brief aims to present the ways in which governments and businesses can implement family-friendly policies (FFPs) as a means to enhance women’s economic empowerment (women’s economic empowerment).

Employer-Supported Childcare

Childcare and Working Families: New Opportunity or Missing Link?
This brief argues for greater investment in affordable and quality childcare, highlighting its potential to secure a ‘triple dividend’ of young children’s positive development, women’s empowerment and economic growth.

Women, Business and the Law 2016:  Getting to Equal  – Enabling Childcare Policies in the Private Sector
The benefits of childcare services are not limited to child development and can have a positive impact on women’s economic inclusion and national growth and productivity. Unpaid care work is one of the main barriers to women’s employment and job retention as women are often the main caregivers for the family. The study highlights the business case for employer-supported childcare and the private sector provision of childcare services more broadly.

Linking Family-Friendly Policies to Women’s Economic Empowerment
This brief aims to present the ways in which governments and businesses can implement family-friendly policies (FFPs) as a means to enhance women’s economic empowerment (women’s economic empowerment).

Tackling Childcare: A Guide for employer-supported childcare
The Guide for Employer-Supported Childcare was developed to support employers’ implementation of childcare solutions that benefit working parents and their children.

Childcare in the COVID-19 Era: A Guide for Employers
This guidance note is a companion to IFC’s Global Guide for Employer-Supported Childcare and outlines ways in which employers can support the care and family needs of their employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and fulfill their obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Tackling Childcare in Sri Lanka: The business case for employer-supported childcare
The report, The Business Case for Tackling Employer-supported Childcare in Sri Lanka highlights how employer-supported childcare can yield business benefits and how it can be a win-win-win for employees, children and communities. The report shows how 10 Sri Lankan employers provide their employees with childcare-related benefits in a variety of ways.

Tackling Childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare
IFC’s Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare report discusses how companies can analyze their workforce to identify the type of childcare support they can offer to their employees that best suits their needs. The report draws on 10 case studies of companies around the world .

Tackling Childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare (Martur, Turkey Case Study)
This case study examines the impact of childcare and other supports for working parents offered by the Kütahya plant of Martur, a Turkish automotive component manufacturer.

Tackling Childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare (Schön Klinik Healthcare, Germany Case Study)
This case study discusses how Schön Klinik, a private hospital group in Germany, supports its employees with children through subsidized workplace childcare, summer camps, flexible working, and other supports that make it possible for them to stay at work and be productive.

4 key trends on how COVID has impacted women in business 
One third of female entrepreneurs feel that increased care demands have reduced their ability to focus their attention on their businesses, hurting their ability to generate income. In a recent client survey in Egypt, companies said that women employees, especially during required home-based work, were more inclined to resign due to increasing childcare needs.

Tackling Childcare: Employer-Supported Childcare in Cambodia 
This study, based on surveys of employers and childcare providers in Cambodia analyzes key drivers of, and gaps in, employer-supported childcare. It identifies a suite of available childcare options and models provided by employers. The report also assesses the accessibility, availability, quality, and affordability of private childcare in Cambodia, and presents a business case for investing in it.

Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare in Vietnam 
The report, which includes in-depth case studies on six large manufacturing employers in Vietnam, documents the significant business and social returns from an investment in childcare support, including reduced absenteeism and turnover and enhanced relationships with customers and local government. 

Tackling Childcare Pakistan: A Market Study on the Benefits and Challenges of Employer-Supported Childcare
This IFC study, part of a collaboration between IFC and Pakistan Business Council, surveyed 140 private sector employers in Pakistan, in addition to interviewing working parents, policymakers, and childcare providers, to identify challenges and opportunities for expanding employer-supported childcare and other family-friendly policies in Pakistan.

Childcare is a Business issue 
Childcare is not a family issue, it is a business issue. It affects how we work, when we work and for many, why we work. Moving forward, employer-provided child care could also influence where we work. Employers that provide high-quality childcare will not only differentiate themselves from the competition but will also create a “sticky” benefit that fosters retention.

Gender & Childcare

Women’s work: Mothers, children and the global childcare crisis
This report explores current childcare policy failures across a range of case-studies, including Viet Nam, Gaza, Mexico, India and Ethiopia, and highlights examples of progress in countries which are successfully responding to these challenges.

Women Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal – Enabling Childcare Policies in the Private Sector
The benefits of childcare services are not limited to child development and can have a positive impact on women’s economic inclusion and national growth and productivity. Unpaid care work is one of the main barriers to women’s employment and job retention as women are often the main caregivers for the family. The study highlights the business case for employer-supported childcare and the private sector provision of childcare services more broadly.

Childcare from the Perspective of Women in the Informal Economy
This policy brief posits that addressing the child care needs of women informal workers – by providing quality childcare services for such workers and valuing their paid childcare work; and enforcing their labor rights, including those of domestic workers – helps women informal workers realize their rights and access economically empowering opportunities. 

Subsidized Daycare as Pathway to Increasing Women’s Economic Empowerment 
For women with young children, employment and involvement in income generating activities often depends on availability of affordable child care. This is particularly true for Kenyan mothers living in resource-limited urban areas, who may lack kin support for child care, and who rely on low-paying jobs in the informal sector.

Pathways to accessible, affordable and gender-responsive childcare provision: The Case of Ghana
One pivotal aspect of early childhood programmes, which has not received enough attention and inquest relates to the feminization of ECEC providers and workers on one hand, and users (be they mothers or other caregivers) on the other. Within families, women are the main utilizers of these services, who in addition to the traditional pursuit of the developmental wellbeing of their children, may resort to ECEC services in order to participate in economic activities, or merely as a source of respite from household reproductive work. 

Masculinities and COVID-19: Making the Connections
The report provides an evidence-based overview of key issues in relation to men, masculinities, and COVID-19, setting these within a gendered approach. It explores the impact of COVID-19 on men and women in different social groups and sets out principles and recommendations for policymakers and other decision-makers to take masculinities into account to create effective responses to the crisis.

Better Jobs and Brighter Futures: Investing in Childcare to Build Human Capital
This new World Bank Group reporthighlights how investments in childcare can increase women’s employment and productivity, create new jobs, improve child outcomes, drive economic growth, and support a more resilient and inclusive recovery from the pandemic. It also looks at how investing in quality, affordable childcare is key to unlocking pathways out of poverty.

Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women
This policy brief by the UN Secretary-General explores how women and girls’ lives are changing in the face of COVID-19, and outlines suggested priority measures to accompany both the immediate response and longer-term recovery efforts. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex.

Investing in Free Universal Childcare in South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay: A comparative analysis of costs, short-term employment effects and fiscal revenue *JUST ADDED
This discussion paper makes the case for investing in free universal childcare services of high quality in order to reduce gender inequality in earnings and employment. It estimates the employment-generating and fiscal effects of investing in free universal childcare in three middle income countries: South Africa, Uruguay, and Turkey. 

The Impact of Early Childhood Interventions on Mothers *JUST ADDED
This paper reviews nearly 500 recent empirical studies of early childhood development interventions in low- and middle-income countries and find that 22% report on non-parenting outcomes for mothers, although many ECD interventions impacts mothers’ time, mental health, labor market participation, and other aspects empowerment and only 4% of studies report impacts on caregivers’ labor market participation. The paper finds that daycare interventions tend to boost women’s labor force participation and that group-based parent training tends to boost women’s mental health.

Childcare & COVID-19

Childcare in the COVID-19 Era: A Guide for Employers
This guidance note is a companion to  IFC’s Global Guide for Employer-Supported Childcare and outlines ways in which employers can support the care and family needs of their employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and fulfill their obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Childcare in a global crisis: the Impact of COVID-19 on work and family life 
This brief takes a global perspective on one of these four aspects – childcare in the early years. In the current context of lockdown and school closures, lack of childcare is likely to be one of the worst affected services available to families.

Case Studies

Pathways to accessible, affordable and gender-responsive childcare provision: The Case of Ghana
One pivotal aspect of early childhood programmes, which has not received enough attention and inquest relates to the feminization of ECEC providers and workers on one hand, and users (be they mothers or other caregivers) on the other. Within families, women are the main utilizers of these services, who in addition to the traditional pursuit of the developmental wellbeing of their children, may resort to ECEC services in order to participate in economic activities, or merely as a source of respite from household reproductive work. 

Cost-Effective Public Daycare in a Low-Income Economy Benefits Children and Mothers
This paper evaluates the impacts of a public program that introduced access to part-time childcare centers for children younger than four years of age in poor urban areas in Nicaragua.

Tackling Childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare (Martur, Turkey Case Study)
This case study examines the impact of childcare and other supports for working parents offered by the Kütahya plant of Martur, a Turkish automotive component manufacturer.

Tackling Childcare in Sri Lanka: The business case for employer-supported childcare
The report, The Business Case for Tackling Employer-supported Childcare in Sri Lanka highlights how employer-supported childcare can yield business benefits and how it can be a win-win-win for employees, children and communities. The report shows how 10 Sri Lankan employers provide their employees with childcare-related benefits in a variety of ways.

Tackling Childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare (Schön Klinik Healthcare, Germany Case Study)
This case study discusses how Schön Klinik, a private hospital group in Germany, supports its employees with children through subsidized workplace childcare, summer camps, flexible working, and other supports that make it possible for them to stay at work and be productive. 

Tackling Childcare: Employer-Supported Childcare in Cambodia 
This study, based on surveys of employers and childcare providers in Cambodia analyzes key drivers of, and gaps in, employer-supported childcare. It identifies a suite of available childcare options and models provided by employers. The report also assesses the accessibility, availability, quality, and affordability of private childcare in Cambodia, and presents a business case for investing in it.

Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare in Vietnam 
The report, which includes in-depth case studies on six large manufacturing employers in Vietnam, documents the significant business and social returns from an investment in childcare support, including reduced absenteeism and turnover and enhanced relationships with customers and local government.

Support Programs for Home-Based Child Care: A Global Case Study 
Home-based child care (HBCC) is a form of non-parental child care that takes place within the home of either the child or the provider, as opposed to a center. Paid and unpaid forms of HBCC are widely used by families for many reasons including affordability, cultural relevance, and accessibility.

Blogs & Articles

Time to Care: Childcare as an opportunity for children, Families and a strong economy (Blog)
All over the world every day, women go off to work to farms and factories, to school rooms and board rooms. For an increasing number of parents, finding quality affordable childcare remains a serious issue, particularly given urbanization and migration away from extended family.

Emergency Childcare: Issues to Consider (Blog) 
As schools closed around the world, so has the need to close child care programs. It is difficult to protect the health of teachers, caregivers, families and the community when children are in group settings- whether called a school, a preschool or a child care center. At the same time, essential workers are experiencing difficulties doing their jobs while caring for and protecting their children.

Equality for women in the labour market relies on access to childcare (Article) 
Crises often have unequal effects. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a more profound impact on the poor than the rich; on manual laborers more than professionals. But what is less talked about, and increasingly apparent, is the gender disparity. 

Building Back Better – Building Resilience in Africa: ECD Workforce Support and Stregtening Amid COVID-19 (Blog)
If there is one silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s probably the growing appreciation of childcare as an essential service and backbone to the growth and development of our economies.

Supporting Home-Based Child Care: An Emerging Opportunity to Promote Nurturing Care (Blog) 
A recently released descriptive study of support programs for home-based child care documents the emerging role that home-based care networks can play in empowering providers, supporting families and promoting nurturing care.

It’s Time to Invest in Global Childcare (Blog)
A growing number of recent reports, along with the reality of women struggling to balance childcare with paid work laid bare during the pandemic, are finally bringing the world’s underinvestment in quality childcare out of the shadows. Now it is time for action.

Generation C’: Why Investing in early childhood is critical after COVID-19 (Article)
More and more, we will see the impact of social isolation, the loss social skill development and trauma on young children. Some children will bear the scars of the pandemic for years to come.

COVID Childcare Crisis reversing decades of women’s economic progress — report (Article) 
This report calls for recovery plans to address unequal burden of looking after children to advance equality and ‘because it makes fiscal sense’.

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