Access to child-care services for informal women workers
This webinar sought to bring together different actors in the child-care sector across the labour and women’s rights movements and the early childhood development community.
Time: 12.30 p.m. – 2 p.m. UTC & GMT (8.30 a.m. – 10 a.m. EST)
Keynote speaker: Isabella Sekawana – Chief Director: Early Childhood Development, Legislation and Families and Acting Deputy Director General for Welfare Services, Department of Social Development – South Africa
Elizabeth Lule, Executive Director, Early Childhood Development Action Network
Selma Núñez Parada, Child-care Educator at the Roberto del Río Hospital Kindergarten, National Leader and responsible for child-care issues of the National Confederation of Health Service Professionals of Chile (Fenpruss)
Fish Ip, Regional Coordinator – Asia-Pacific, International Domestic Workers Federation
Discussant: Silke Staab, Research Specialist, UN Women
Moderator: Rachel Moussié, Deputy Director, Social Protection Programme – WIEGO
At a time when women informal workers’ earnings are low and household debts are rising, low-cost child care is even less affordable and accessible. This webinar was intended as a space to discuss common approaches for more public investment in quality child-care services.
Participants discussed the decent-work deficit in the child-care sector characterized by the high degree of informal employment for women and situated the central role of government in expanding public child-care services. The webinar also addressed the need for regulatory frameworks that protect the labour rights of child-care workers and support women workers in both the informal and formal economies to engage in the labour market on more equal terms.
The pandemic exposed the global child-care crisis as creches and kindergartens closed to contain the spread of the virus. The majority of child-care work shifted onto women at home and threatened women workers’ employment and livelihoods. At the same time, many child-care workers – including domestic workers – were locked out of employment during lockdowns and school closures.
Investing in public child-care services that meet the needs of children and their caregivers is an ambitious undertaking amid a global recession. Research from UN Women and the ILO shows how this public investment can be partially recovered through new decent work opportunities that lead to more tax revenue and social security contributions. The vast body of evidence from the early childhood development field on the life-long benefits of quality child care services for 0-3 year olds is compelling.
- Bring together different actors in the child-care sector across the labour and women’s rights movements and the early childhood development community.
- Highlight the decent work deficit in the child-care sector characterized by a high degree of informal employment for women – including domestic workers.
- Situate the central role of government in expanding public child-care services and regulatory frameworks, protecting the labour rights of child-care workers, and supporting women workers in both the informal and formal economies to engage in the labour market on more equal terms.
Nelson Mandela Foundation
Early Childhood Development Action Network
Public Services International
International Domestic Workers Federation