Saturday, March 28, 2015

Quality child care: an essential service to support women at work

Many women outside the job market often say that they cannot do paid work because they must take care of their children.
Strong evidence has indeed shown that where affordable and high-quality childcare is available, women’s labour force participation increases.Chile, for example, has seen remarkable progress in the number of children covered by childcare services over recent decades. As a result of a flagship government programme (Chile Crece Contigo: Chile Grows with You) introduced in 2007, the number of public crèches and places for children under one year of age increased respectively from 700 in March 2006 to more than 4,000 by the end of 2009, and from 14,000 in 2005 to 85,000 by March 2010.
Early evaluations of recent reforms indicate that accessing childcare could increase the probability of
Chilean mothers gaining employment by close to 15%.Yet even beyond supporting women, quality childcare services have also proven to mitigate social inequalities and improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children. It is thus important to view investing in childcare not as a luxury that only the richest countries can afford, but as a successful strategy for boosting gender equality, driving inclusive growth and reducing poverty for all.

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