This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Establishment of the Child Minding Center
City Government of Calamba
Best practice Focus Area(s)
The Child Minding Center (CMC) is a project of Mayor Justin Marc SB. Chipeco as part of the city’s Gender and Development Program managed by the City Human Resource Management Office. It was started in June 2016 to supervise and care for infants and children whose parents are working for the City Government of Calamba. This is to provide a secure place where employees can entrust their children to avoid frequent absences from work. Through this, employees can still hold their jobs and perform their tasks in delivering efficient public service.
Background and Problem
The City Human Resource Management Office aligned Child Minding Center to Gender and Development Program and devised a handbook of policies and guidelines duly approved by the City Mayor. Parents tend to bring their children to the office due to the absence of their nannies or they cannot afford to hire one, or the mothers maybe breastfeeding their babies. With GAD’s advocacy to empower, motivate women employees, and to obtain customer satisfaction in the delivery of public service, the center allows them to leave their children under the care of CMC staff free of charge. Challenges that face CMC are the requests of some parents who bring their children more than three years old. The center could not resist but to accommodate them, but the dilemma was the risk of older children’s behavior. The CMC staff is challenged by how they would treat them. Infants or babies need a safe and secure area to avoid contact with older children.
The HRMO has proposed the project to the Gad Focal Point System of the City. A separate building was put up for the facility. The HRMO, together with the GFPS finalizes the Operations Manual for the facility. After the approval of the manual, the facility becomes operational, accepting 5 to 8 kids daily on the average. Workers include a nurse for emergency medical cases and three (3) child care service providers under a contract of service. The establishment of the Child-Minding Center has made mother employees more productive as they now have peace of mind. Further, the breastfeeding area in the center has provided a safe and clean space where mothers can continue breastfeeding their children. The City Government of Calamba is a firm advocate of breastfeeding and believes that it should continue for as long as necessary especially in the first six months of the baby. The facility will contribute to the overall health and wellness of both mother and child and will trickle down to other members of the family. Its presence empowers women to be an effective government worker to be a loving and caring mother at the same time.
Solution and Impact
The City Human Resource Office has observed that bringing small children in the office reduces the productivity of mothers as they are busy attending to their child. Furthermore, there have been instances wherein mothers are absent from work due to the unavailability of childcare in their homes. Through needs assessment, it was identified that the City Government needs to put up a facility wherein the mothers can safely leave their children during office hours.
The Child Minding Center is being benchmarked by different government agencies. It is also a contributory factor to the city government to be awarded as the most child-friendly city and a three-year awardee as the Best GAD Implementer-City Category.