Release of the Business Case Report on Employer-supported Childcare

Highlights lessons from the Tea Sector and recommendations for scale and sustainability.

22 October 2021
Release of business case report
UNICEF/2021/Kanobana
UNICEF Representative Ms. Julianna Lindsey speaks at an event to officially release the Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare.

KIGALI, 22 October 2021 – UNICEF in partnership with UK Aid and the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) has released a report demonstrating a strong business case for investing in employer-supported childcare. The report highlights key lessons from the tea sector and provides recommendations for scale and sustainability. The report is meant to encourage the private sector in Rwanda to invest in employer-supported childcare. The report also demonstrates the business and social returns that investing in childcare services at workplaces can generate.

The agriculture sector, where a large proportion of the workforce is female, lacked a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate that employer-supported childcare is a smart investment, leading to business and social returns. While the study focused on the tea industry, the findings of the report suggest that investing in childcare services will likely boost productivity across Rwanda’s agricultural sectors, and beyond.

“Today we are sharing information about one way that companies can change children’s lives and create a stronger workforce for Rwanda’s future – creating early childhood development centers for the children of employees.  The tea industry has pioneered this work in Rwanda, together with UNICEF, NAEB, and NECDP, now NCDA,” said Ms. Julianna Lindsey, the UNICEF Country Representative.

“Our hope is that today’s presentation, testimony by an ECD champion from the Tea industry and discussion will stimulate ideas on how many companies can do the same,” she added. 

H.E. Omar Daair, British High Commissioner to Rwanda, also attended the launch and added: “The UK has a strong development partnership with Rwanda, which includes a significant focus on both human development and economic growth. The UK is delighted to have supported this business case on employer-supported childcare. It shows that setting up these services at the workplace isn’t just the right thing to do but also good for business. We hope that this report will help companies further expand childcare services, which play an essential role in driving inclusive growth and ensuring that Rwandan children develop to their full potential.’’

Investing in childcare services should be central to the Government’s policies on promoting family-friendly workspaces as well as private sector strategies. The Chief Operations Officer of NAEB, Ms. Sandrine Urujeni commented that the childcare program must be enhanced to benefit more Rwandans.

“We will continue working hand in hand with all development partners to ensure the childcare program is adopted on a big scale and is sustainable. We pledge to increase awareness about its benefits and encourage public and private investors to engage in this important and necessary program,” she said. 

The report further provides wide-ranging recommendations for change:

  • For employer-supported childcare to be mainstreamed and scaled up, there is a need for better planning, coordination, and partnerships between the private and public sectors.
  • A comprehensive blueprint should be developed and piloted to guide the companies willing to set up or improve their employer-supported childcare initiatives. Such guidance will help the companies to improve the effectiveness of their investments in childcare services, whilst boosting the quality of service and impact.
  • Harness opportunities for improved coordination and effective partnerships: multi-stakeholder partnerships to bolster the viability and impact of corporate childcare are required in order to further this agenda.

The full report can be downloaded by clicking the following link:

https://www.unicef.org/rwanda/reports/business-case-employer-supported-childcare 

Media contacts

Steve Nzaramba
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Rwanda
Tel: +250 786 384 106

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Rwanda, visit www.unicef.org/rwanda.

Follow UNICEF Rwanda on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and on our YouTube channel.