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Washington, October 25, 2018
—Under an initiative led by International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, thirty organizations from across the world, including the ILO, UNICEF, Goldman Sachs, and Bright Horizons, have come together to develop guidelines for companies to implement childcare support.
A lack of access to good-quality, affordable childcare is a key barrier to women's access to more and better jobs in many countries. The public and private sectors can play a critical role in improving childcare options, so working mothers and fathers can have greater access to formal employment opportunities. For private sector employers, it can be a win-win situation—by supporting childcare they can boost gender diversity and achieve better business outcomes such as increased profit and productivity.
The guidelines, to be developed by the
Global Tackling Childcare Working Group,
will help employers around the world implement tailored childcare options and address issues such as skills of caregivers; health and safety of children; opportunities for children’s early learning and development; as well as adult-child ratio. The governments of Bangladesh and Paraguay have also agreed to join the working group.
“The working group provides an opportunity for us to work more closely together with key stakeholders to increase investments in the care economy and create more inclusive labor markets,” says Henriette Kolb, Manager, IFC Gender Secretariat. “The global guidelines will fill an important knowledge and practice gap when it comes to employer-supported childcare.”
IFC is drawing attention to the need for global guidelines for safe and good-quality care because of the growing recognition among policymakers and businesses worldwide that access to childcare is critical for economic growth and gender equality. Moreover, several countries, including India and Japan, legally require employers to offer working parents childcare options such as crèches.
Organizations that have come together for the IFC-led initiative consist of accreditation body
National Association for the Education of Young Children
(USA); care providers
BRAC Institute of Educational Development
; foundations the
Bernard van Leer Foundation
Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
(CIFF); the governments of Bangladesh and Paraguay; international organizations the
International Labour Organization
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
UN Development Programme
UN Global Compact
UN Children's Fund
(UNICEF), and the
World Bank Group
; law firms
J. Sagar & Associates
Child Care Law Center
(USA); non-governmental organizations
Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing
Association for Childhood Education International
Save the Children
; research institutes the
International Development Research Center
Institute for Women's Policy Research
; and Kenya-based social enterprise
Kidogo Early Years
IFC’s focus on removing barriers, including lack of childcare, for greater access to more and better jobs for both women and men is embedded in the
World Bank Group’s gender strategy
and IFC’s vision of creating markets for all—particularly in fragile, conflict-affected, and low-income countries.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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