Sept 20, 2016 – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, alongside Kidogo, an education-based social enterprise, and 5 other strategic partners launch Tackling Childcare, an innovative partnership to promote best practices for employer-supported childcare.

Safe, nurturing care is most vital during the first 1,000 days of life to ensure a child’s healthy growth & development, and yet, access to high-quality, affordable childcare is often limited, particularly in low- income communities.

Better and more affordable childcare is a win-win for all: children get the best start to life, mothers and fathers can participate equally in the workforce, businesses experience reduced absenteeism and higher productivity, and countries benefit from economic growth and a future pipeline of human capital.

“Investing in employees’ childcare needs is good for business and good for development,” said Henriette Kolb, head of IFC’s Gender Secretariat. “To move the needle, we have to stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue—we must address it as the government and corporate priority that it is.”

Tackling Childcare will produce a report showing how employer-supported childcare promotes productivity, what type of support works, and why—in bottom-line figures—companies should help provide childcare for their employees. The initiative is one of the first partnerships bringing together companies from different industry sectors to jointly address the business case for childcare. Participating firms include Aeroméxico, Afrifresh, Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition Italy, Dialog Axiata PLC, Grupo M, HBL Bank, MAS Active – Al Safi Madaba, Mindtree, Pandurata Alimentos Ltda., Safaricom, and Sumitomo Chemical.

These companies will be supported by 7 strategic partners—the International Finance Corporation, Kidogo, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Care.com, the International Labour Organization, the UN Global Compact, and UN Women—who will share methodologies, frameworks and childcare solutions that companies can use to test and measure the actual and projected impact of their childcare interventions.

Tackling Childcare is part of Kidogo’s broader effort to ‘change the conversation’ around the early years and promote quality, holistic Early Childhood services to low-income communities.