2021 marks the sixth year of the Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in China. Since the pilot in 2015, the CFS programme has quickly grown into one of The Centre’s most successful programmes in terms of demand, scale, impact and sustainability, supporting over 10,000 parent workers and children.
We’ve so far delivered almost 100 CFS at factories in China, with the majority of factories continuing to run their CFS independently after the first year.
Each year we hear similar stories of workers feeling relieved and better able to concentrate at work because their children are close-by in a safe space, or of workers not having to quit or take the summer off to look after their children. From the annual pre and post programme data, we also consistently see that workers feel better understood and supported by their employers and are more willing to keep working in the factory long-term. This in turn allows factories to hold on to experienced workers for longer, while also creating opportunities for strengthened buyer-factory engagement and promotion.
This year’s Child Friendly Spaces programme was no exception, and 12 factories following through with their commitment to open a CFS for the first time with various COVID-19 safety measures in place to help ensure that safety of parents, children and the factory. This year’s factories covered a wide range of sectors including garments, shoes, toys and printing.
In total, 378 children spent the summer at these centres in 2021, providing 332 workers with access to free childcare during working hours. Including amongst these children were so called “left-behind children” who live in other cities and provinces with their grandparents throughout the year and had a rare opportunity to bond with their parents and get a glimpse into their work lives. The CFS also supported migrant children who moved with their parents to the factory localities. For parent workers of migrant and local children, childcare in the summer is a huge challenge and many children end up spending the entire summer holidays alone at home.
The Centre’s project staff completed the last of the impact assessments in August and is currently analysing the data, we look forward to sharing outcomes and achievements from this year’s CFS very soon.
In the meantime, we encourage you to watch our short video which shares some of the special moments from this year’s programme.
CFS is proving to be a flexible model which can be adapted to provide childcare support to parent workers and children in both factory and farm settings. 2021 saw the launch of the first CFS in Turkey’s agriculture sector, and we are working to pilot version of CFS in Vietnam, Bangladesh and potentially India next year.
Get in touch to discuss how you and your suppliers can participate in next year’s CFS programme.
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