Childcare is the biggest issue for working women with children. The question is whether the City of Sydney council wants to or is prepared to deal with this issue.
In a motion put to Council, Councillor Harris is called on the City of Sydney to prepare a report to establish the feasibility of providing a crèche on site for the children of council staff.
“As one of Sydney’s major employers, the City of Sydney Council should be setting the example not lagging behind private enterprise in providing quality childcare facilities” according to Greens Councillor, Chris Harris.
“The greatest investment a society can make is in its children. Companies such as Lend Lease in the city, IBM at Pennant Hills and the NSW Police Headquarters at Parramatta realise this and are already leading the way with in-house childcare facilities” Cr. Harris said
“Since 1994 the Body Shop’s head office in Melbourne have had an 86-place childcare facility that provides care and education programs for children aged from birth to five. They also provide a special room with kitchenette and work station where a parent can spend the day with a sick child.
“The advantage for companies that provide childcare facilities is that their staff are more wiling to return to work earlier. There is a severe shortage of childcare places, especially in the 0-2 year group. If mothers know they can breastfeed their babies at work and that they only have to make one trip to work rather than dashing off to childcare centres then they have an incentive to return to work sooner. Cr Harris said.
“But it’s not just the convenience of having childcare facilities that is behind my motion, studies have shown that conflicts between employee’s work and family can hinder overall productivity.
“If we provide high quality childcare facilities for our staff, we would not only be investing in our workforce, but we would be providing a safe and secure environment in which our children can grow and learn. If because of this initiative, productivity improves then that’s an added bonus,” Councillor Harris said
Cr Harris’ motion was supported by all councillors present and the staff will now prepare a report for a future council meeting on how an internal childcare facility can be provided.