Child Friendly Spaces

The Centre’s Child Friendly Space (CFS) programme works with suppliers to establish safe and secure childcare facilities at factories and farms to support parent workers. CFS enables the children of workers to play, access learning opportunities, develop social skills through interactions with other kids and participate in joint activities with their parents. 

Each summer holiday, there is a spike in the number of children left unsupervised and in dorms or work camps, and of children on production floors or in harvesting fields.   

Launched in 2015, CFS responds to an urgent need to provide childcare when children are out of school, keeping them away from production areas and ensuring they are well looked after. This allows parents to put their minds at ease during their work shifts. CFS also enables migrant parent workers and their children to spend valuable time together during the summer school holiday period. CFS operates during the summer but can also run on a year-round basis and/or as an after-school centre. 

For suppliers, CFS helps prevent the risk of children being brought to production areas by and hence reduces major compliance risks including children’s involvement in work. 

Close to one hundred factories in China have opened child friendly spaces so far, supporting over 10,000 parent workers and their children, with the majority continuing to run the programme independently after the first year, and some even extending the service to a year-round after-school centre. 

We continue to expand and innovate the CFS programme to meet the needs of suppliers in a variety of additional countries, contexts and sectors, including both agricultural and manufacturing settings. In 2021, The Centre pioneered the first ever tent-based Child Friendly Space in gardens in Turkey. In 2023, we set up a CFS for rattan harvesting communities in Indonesia for the first time.

Year on year, our CFS programme delivers a range of benefits for parent workers, children and suppliers alike. Positive outcomes from Child Friendly Spaces run in 2021 include:

  • 54% increase in workers absolutely trusting factory management

  • 77% increase in workers being very satisfied with their factories

  • 30% increase in workers planning to stay at their factories for two years or more

  • 45% of workers reported being more efficient at work because of the CFS

  • 34% increase in workers who believe management understands their challenges as parent workers

  • 75% were less worried about their children at work

In our Stories section, you will find a range of real-life stories about how the Child Friendly Spaces impacted families and employers. 

Please read/download our 2023 Family-Friendly Workplaces Programme Impact and Achievements brochure, which includes impact data from our CFS programme. Read this article and case study about our CFS programme and our new milestone.

If you or your supplier is interested in learning more or joining this programme, please contact us

Download Related Documents

Factory Opens a Child Friendly Space in One Week

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Factory Opens a Child Friendly Space in One Week

Our collaboration with The Centre enables us to bear more responsibility for the wellbeing of the people who workinour purchasing chain and their families, by ensuring children are taken care of while the parents are at work.

(Date: 2021)

-Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility
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Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility

We are delighted to partner with The Centre to implement our Family Friendly Spaces (FFS) Programme. This programme is successful because the impacts are measurable and sustainable. Working together, we look forward to achieving even more for parent workers and children in the future.

(Date: 2020)

-Carmel Giblin President & CEO ICTI Ethical Toy Program
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Carmel Giblin President & CEO ICTI Ethical Toy Program

At BillerudKorsnäs, we are very happy about the programme and its positive impact. We will have internal discussions on how we are going to scale up in the future.

-Kyle Zhang, Senior Compliance Officer, BillerudKorsnäs on CFS
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Kyle Zhang, Senior Compliance Officer, BillerudKorsnäs on CFS

We expect that the indirect impact of this programme would be more orders from clients as we prove ourselves to be an attractive employer.

(Date: 2020)

-Mr. Sun, the main person in charge of one of the CFS in China
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Mr. Sun, the main person in charge of one of the CFS in China

We needed such projects for the satisfaction of our workers. The parents were very happy, especially when they saw the progress their children made during the summer. I believe that the impact is a long term one and a win-­win to all parties involved

-General manager of a participating factory in China in 2020
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General manager of a participating factory in China in 2020

I would like to thank you for guiding us and our supplier Ceyadi during this programme - we never expected it to have so much impact and we are all sincerely touched by the worker stories and feedback of the children. The Centre’s support has been great throughout. We are looking into extending the child friendly spaces further into our Chinese supplier base for next year(s).

-Joy Roeterdink, CSR Manager, Suitsupply
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Joy Roeterdink, CSR Manager, Suitsupply

Having a CFS in place helps our company to enhance its reputation and attract talent. For instance, many parent workers pay attention to the education of their children but can hardly access childcare facilities in their workplace, so they are very interested in working in our factory

-Ms. Zhao, Production Manager of Caili factory, which opened a CFS in 2020
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Ms. Zhao, Production Manager of Caili factory, which opened a CFS in 2020

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