Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka, expanded its crèche facility by moving to a new location last week, to accommodate the growing numbers of its employees using the service.
Since 2008 the bank has pioneered this concept and provided its employees’ children with a safe home-away-from-home whilst they are at work.
Emphasising the importance of the availability of quality child care to the success of multinational and large corporates, Standard Chartered has a team of individuals dedicated to ensure the crèche facilities are the best in class and trusted by its employees who are “working mothers”. This has proved true in Sri Lanka with 48.5% of its workforce being females including five out of eight in the Management Committee who are all “mothers”.
The new Standard Chartered crèche ‘Kidkare’ located in the heart of Colombo is facilitated and supervised by Shanthi Wijesinghe Associates. Run by professionals, the place can accommodate up to 35 children. The facility caters to children from six months to 12 years of age.
Early childhood care is of utmost importance and Kidkare has been meeting these needs successfully since its inception in September 2008. Fully qualified and trained staff ensures children are given the necessary guidelines to ensure a balanced lifestyle with focus areas on nutrition, health habits, manners and etiquette. Special events are organised during the holiday months in order that children spend valuable time engaging in outings and challenges.
After school at Kidkare means that children who attend regular school come home to Kidkare to refresh themselves, have a nutritious meal and attend to their studies under the supervision of qualified teachers, complete homework and look forward to an evening of interaction and bonding with their parents at the end of each day.
The concept of its very own crèche was initiated in 2008. Head of Human Resources Deshika Rodrigo said: “Almost every working mother is faced with dilemmas – that of leaving her young child in someone else’s care. To accommodate the need of our growing working population and to give our staff work-life balance, we relocated our crèche to a new location last week.” Ashanthi Opatha, Manager, Unit Operational Risk, prefers the crèche to a domestic maid or nanny, because children tend to enjoy being around other kids. Also, nannies are often lenient as they are not given the authority by the parents to shout or correct the child.
Ashanthi said: “For me, the standard Chartered crèche was the only alternative at the time. But it was the right decision. I have seen over the years that my child is more independent, very social and sharing. They have become confident. My career rise has also been consistent, all because of the crèche.”