Planète Enfants & Développement and its partner, CCR-CSR (Center for Children's Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility), presented the preliminary results of their study on "employer-supported childcare services" in front of IFC, one of the World Bank's departments in Phnom Penh in early September 2019. The objective: to know the practices of employers for their employees and to make an inventory of the already existing daycare services.
This study, conducted from June to August 2019, focused on the major economic sectors: textile, agricultural, industrial, banking and tourism, with 73 employers and employer associations participating. The first results show that childcare services in Cambodia are poorly developed The majority of these are very expensive private crèches, aimed at the middle and rich classes. To date, no private crèche has made a partnership with companies employing women workers.
Little known and applied legal obligations
71% of the participating firms employ more than 100 women. And for 91% of the companies, the workers have children under the age of 6. Employers are aware that absenteeism is often related to children. Nevertheless, few employers provide all the services due to their employees, such as subsidies, more flexible hours, information about facilities or emergency care.
Unmet needs for working parents
The other part of the study focused on existing childcare services. We surveyed 42 day care centers in 6 provinces across the country. We found that childcare hours, the age of children accepted, and the cost of services vary in urban and rural areas and are discriminating.
There is a great deal of need on the part of parents, especially mothers who may find it more difficult to work if they do not have access to child care.
However, one of the Cambodian government's priorities has been to expand access to early childhood services since 2001. Several laws have been adopted in the agricultural, textile and banking sectors to organize childcare for employees. Currently, 10% of employers are not aware of these laws and 50% do not understand them.
We want to work together to improve this situation.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a private sector development institution. It is interested in women's working conditions, including childcare services for women workers. CCR-CSR responded to the IFC's call for tenders to carry out a study on the state of childcare services in factories and wished to work with Planète Enfants & Développement on this study, an association recognized for its work in Cambodia since 1984.