Childcare spaces for employees and beneficiaries of public institutions created with UNDP support

April 3, 2024

Space dedicated to childcare at Strășeni mayoralty

Nine territorial offices of the National Employment Agency and four mayoralities have set up child-friendly spaces to be used when accompanying their parents, who could be either employees or need the services provided by those public institutions. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) allocated 93,000 lei for the furniture and the necessary office supplies.

In this way, UNDP is supporting public institutions to become more accessible and child-friendly, helping to expand access to public services for parents, including to support their return to work, especially for women.

"It is important that public institutions are accessible to all those who need their services and send a message of openness to parents who can access public services whenever they need them, without being restricted by childcare responsibilities. We will continue to support the efforts of national, local authorities and the parents’ community to provide access to quality services for children and to create opportunities for parents to return to the labour market," says Andrei Darie, Programme Specialist, Inclusive Growth, UNDP Moldova.

One of the municipalities that benefited from this initiative is that of Strășeni, where conditions were created not only for the 20 children who regularly visit their parents at work, but also for the people who need the services of the One Stop Shop to serve citizens within the institution.

"If citizens come to the town hall with their children, we have to ensure conditions so that they can fill in their documents, submit applications," believes Valentina Casian, mayor of Strășeni municipality.

"When this space was not here, I used to sit in my mother's office and help her. Now I play," says Sofia, 6, daughter of a municipality employee.

One of the territorial subdivisions of the National Agency for Employment that now offers employee-  and parents/child-friendly services is the one in Călărași.

"This is a beneficial project for all public institutions, as it supports the harmonious development of children and, on the other hand, facilitates parents' access to the public services. The space has been equipped with a mat, chairs, pencils and books, so that the parent could work in peace while the child is safely playing at their side. On top of that, the beneficiary of our services can talk to the employee without being interrupted by the child," says Elena Lungu, head of the General Directorate for Employment in Călărași.

UNDP supports the public and private sector to expand access to childcare within the workplace. In this context, three training sessions were organized in Cahul, Ungheni and Strășeni on the legal and sanitary aspects of setting up crèches in institutions and companies.

At the same time, UNDP is supporting efforts to strengthen professional development opportunities in the area of childcare work through a first course offered by the Pedagogical College "Alexei Mateevici" in Chișinău. At present, "Mihai Eminescu" College in Soroca and "Iulia Hasdeu" College in Cahul are working on developing similar courses. The course is dedicated to people who want to get a qualification in childcare and then a legal job.

In Moldova, 9 out of 10 men and women hold at least one prejudice against women. These conscious and unconscious prejudices create barriers to women's participation in the labour market and earning an income. These biases are evident when analyzing the time women and men spend on unpaid household and family care work, with women spending twice as much time on household activities compared to men.

As a result, women end up achieving on average only 60% of their full potential. These disparities are detrimental not only to women's well-being and development, but also to human progress and societies in general.