2020 Child Friendly Spaces Tracker - Weekly Highlights from China's Family-Friendly Factories

Welcome to our 2020 Child Friendly Spaces activity tracker!

Here we provide week-by-week updates to document the journey of 19 factories who are opening Child Friendly Spaces this summer.


A Child Friendly Space is a factory-based childcare facility intended to give children and their working parents more time to spend together during the summer, while alleviating the worry and stress workers are under while schools are closed.


Factories taking part in this year's programme cover a wide range of industries including garments, toys, electronics, printing, ceramics and textiles.

2020 Child Friendly Spaces Programme Impact and Achievements


19 factories in China opened Child Friendly Spaces this summer, six for the first time. Parent workers were given with much-needed childcare support as a result, while giving them peace of mind at work. The programme created numerous positive outcomes for participating children, parents and factories. Please view the link below for more details on this year's impact, how the programme works and how to get involved in 2021.

Factory Interview Series Part 2: Yingde Best Top Toys

For five consecutive years, Ying De Best Top Toys in Qingyuan, China, has been operating a Child Friendly Space within their factory premises. What motivates this factory to continue running the Child Friendly Space? In this interview, we talk to Judy Yang, Manager at Best Top.

Please click on the title below to read the article. 

“If we Don’t Continue, it’ll Impact the Employee Turnover Rate”: An Interview with a Factory on their Child Friendly Spaces Programme

Factory Interview Series Part 1: Golden Cup

Nineteen factories ran child friendly spaces within their premises this summer, despite the uncertainties and challenges of a tumultuous year. We were curious to find out their motivations for investing in the space and running it long-term, and what impacts it has had on their business. In the first part of our interview series, we talk to Daisy Dai, programme supervisor at Golden Cup, a printing factory that has been operating CFS since 2017.

Please click on the title below to read the article. 

“There are Always More Solutions than Difficulties”: An Interview with a Factory Manager on their Child Friendly Spaces Programme

Week 7: Aug 30 - Sep 6

Turning a poorly managed space into a great, new Child Friendly Space

A client reached out to CCR CSR [a.k.a. ‘The Centre’ since 2021] recently to support one of their suppliers in China to improve their existing Child Friendly Space after children were found playing on the production floor. The space was poorly managed and maintained and lacked basic amenities such as toys, books, child-friendly chairs. There was also no water available for the children so they would have to wander outside the space to find a drink. Another major flaw of the space was that there was no management procedure in place and no professional staff to run it properly.  

As the summer was already drawing to close when the client reached out to CCR CSR for support, time was of the essence and the improvements needed to be made fast. Within just one week from August 17th to August 24th, CCR CSR helped the supplier identify a new 60 square foot space in one of their dorms to host the Child Friendly Space and transform it into an attractive and functional space. 

Once the space was ready, the CFS reopened from Aug 25th to Aug 31st, Monday to Saturday, and was attended by 10 children. Two factory staff helped take care of the children, organising activities and keeping daily records.

CCR CSR gave the factory staff advice on how to manage the space, organise activities and ensure the strictest levels of safety. 

Feedback from workers: 

The CFS was warmly received by the workers. One mother of a 5-year-old girl who attended the space told us:

In the past, there were only tables here, so children could not sit there and might come to me for water or food in the middle of the day, but now the place has been renovated and the children are willing to play here, so they won't come to me while I’m working in the workshop anymore.”

The mother of a 7-year-old who attended the space added:

“Now that the place has been redecorated, it looks much better than before and I don't have to worry about whether my kids are there at all when someone is taking care of them. The factory owner is quite nice. It was nice to have a place where kids were allowed to stay before, but now I'm even more relieved! .”

The sustainability of the space:

The factory will keep the space open throughout the year to support children aged 7-12 years to stay after school. Two teachers from nearby schools have agreed to come to the centre every day after school during the non-summer months to support the children with homework and 17 children have signed up attend the space starting from September. 

By investing in this initiative, the factory has positioned itself as being a family-friendly employer that cares about the wellbeing of its workers and their families. According to data from CFS programmes in previous years, CFS brings a wide range of business benefits, including increased retention, improved efficiency, improved worker-management relationships, enhanced reputation and stronger engagement between buyers and their suppliers. 

Photo clockwise from top left: the original space before CCR CSR supported the factory; the new space in the summer of 2020, children playing games in the newly renovated space; the old space prior to renovation. 

Week 6: Aug 24-30

Three out of five CFS that operated for the first time closed their doors this week, marking the official ending of the CFS season. 

These five new CFS benefitted 76 families and 112 children, among whom 28% were left-behind children, 47% migrant children, and 25% local children.

All five CFS followed guidelines strictly and adopted special measures to ensure the health and safety of children in times of COVID-19. Besides regular activities, three CFS organised parent-child activities that created unique memories for parents and children to be cherished. 

“I heard about this programme from my friends (living in the same building) so I asked my mother and my younger brother up. I like to come here every day. It's more fun than staying at home all day. Our teacher is so nice to us. She organises all sorts of activities like outdoor and indoor interactive games, singing, dancing, handicraft and so on. I hope she can come again next summer.” A 12-year-old girl from Guangxi who lives with her parents and brother in Heyuan

“I joined this factory last year and had the idea of bringing my children with me, but the final decision was not made until I heard about the CFS programme this summer. Thanks to CFS, I do not have to exhaust myself taking care of them on a daily basis. Next week, we plan to take our children around and select a local school, Having them around will enable us to support their studies better.” A parent worker at a printing factory in Fujian Province

With the great support of the top management, our main goal is to help children spend a happy summer vacation with their parents and make parents feel assured at work. Thus, besides health and safety measures, we also created chances for parents and children to spend quality time together, e.g. weekly parent-child lunch in the space, outings, etc. The number of participants this year is small because many parents found it hard to bring their children over in times of COVID-19, but they are willing to sign up their children next year.” The main person in charge of a CFS in Dongguan

Week 5: Aug 17-23

As the end of summer approaches, the majority of CFS operating this summer are coming to a close. To mark the highlights of the CFS journey, a factory in Ningbo organised its very first family-friendly day this Wednesday, which attracted the participation of 15 workers’ families. The factory converted its canteen into an activity space and decorated it with children’s paintings and letters to their parents.

Parents reading letters from their children before the activities started.

An 11-year-old boy’s letter to his parents, which writes “Mom, I wish you could take me out more often. Dad, please come back to visit us more often. Please often think of me after I return home.”

Children had a memorable experience playing games with their parents. Many parents said this was their first time to participate in activities together with their children and hoped there could be more activities like this in the future.

Photo L: Parents getting ready for the game “stepping on the balloon”; Photo R: A total of 15 workers and 24 children participated in the family day

At the end of the family day, children received gifts from the factory and brand representatives from VF to encourage their active participation. The factory management was also happy to see that the family day received positive feedback from workers and their children. They also made the commitment to continuing CFS and parent-child activities next year.

Meanwhile, CCR CSR conducted final assessment of all CFS that newly opened this year, collecting feedback from children, parents, teachers and factory management through a survey and interviews. Parents spoke highly of their factories’ commitment to opening CFS despite COVID-19, while children were reluctant to say goodbye to friends and teachers, hoping to see each other again next summer.

My relationship with my 6-year-old daughter has improved a great deal this summer. In the past, when I returned home for a couple of days, I felt like a stranger to her because she was too shy to come over and talk to me. But this summer, we managed to live together for more than one month, which enabled us to get to know each other more. She now talks to me about everything.” A father from Guangxi who works in a toy factory in Guangdong

“Parents are satisfied with the CFS and so are the children. Whenever I go to CFS, I receive warm greetings from the children, who are more polite than before. We (management team) tried our best to make the space fun and comfortable, maybe even better than local kindergartens. And no matter how busy we are, we reserve time every day to visit CFS and distribute snacks to children. Even though we are quite exhausted, all our efforts are worthwhile when we see the smiles of children.” A factory management from a toy factory in Guangdong


Week 4: Aug 10-16

Following last week’s visits, CCR CSR team conducted a monitoring visit to a Child Friendly Spaces in Ningbo that opened for the first time this summer. We were greeted by the children’s bright smiles. With the great support from the factory, they’ve spent enjoyable time at the CFS playing indoor games, drawing, singing, dancing, and doing a wide range of activities.

We’ve also talked with the parent workers and got their insights on how the CFS has made an impact on their lives:

My hometown is very far from here so I usually go back once or twice a year. In the past summers, I would take two weeks off just to go back home and spend more time with my children. Now that we have a CFS at our factory, I don’t need to ask for leave anymore. My children can come here and spend the entire summer vacation with me.” A mother from Sichuan province, whose 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter attended CFS this year


In the past summers, we had to leave our children at home because we need to work. They stayed at home with my 12-year-old nephew. My wife and I were constantly worried about their safety during work and she asked several leaves just to go back home and check. We don’t need to worry about their safety anymore this year as we know Ms. Nie (CFS Teacher) will take good care of them." A father from Henan province, whose 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son lived with their grandparents in their hometown and came to visit their parents in Ningbo every summer


Photo L-R: A girl greets us with a big smile at the CFS, children playing with a skipping rope, a boy shows off his art work, a brother and sister help each other put on DIY watches that the learned to make.

Another highlight of this week is that one CFS factory in Dongguan organised outdoor parent-child activity in an amusement park. Children had a great time with their parent driving bumper car and exploring toy trunk.

Photo L-R: Children and their parents taking part in the outdoor activities organised by the factory.

Week 3: Aug 3-9

This week, CCR CSR conducted monitoring visits in four Child Friendly Spaces that operated for the first time this summer. Thanks to the factories’ commitment to child rights, the children of workers are enjoying a wide range of services encompassing indoor games and activities, handicrafts, dancing, reading, homework tutorial as well as free snacks and/or meals in a safe and lively space. One CFS also invited its staff to make popcorn for children. 

Positive changes of children have been observed by teachers, including higher proactiveness to engage in activities and better adaptation to the daily routine.

Quotes of the week

In the past summers, my sons always ran around the house. Their grandparents couldn’t control them at all as they had to look after 5 children in total. Every day my children went to the neighbours’to play without having breakfast, and would not go home until they felt hungry. This summer, putting my children in the CFS makes us feel more at ease. They also know how tired we are at work and making money is not an easy business.” A mother, frontline worker, who has twin boys aged 5.5 years old who are attended a CFS this summer

We have not surveyed the satisfaction rate of the workers at our factory, but I know that they are all very satisfied. They said that over the past few days, they felt that the children were more sensible, not as closed off as before. The children are now more willing to talk and communicate.” – A manager from a factory running CFS his summer


Photo highlights

Photos L-R: Children having drawing class and children playing on the children’s slide

Photos L-R: Younger children crawling through rings while the older ones do arts and crafts

Photos L-R: Children playing with the toys. One child proudly presents his art work to his father

Photos L-R: Factory staff making popcorn for children; Lunchtime inside the centre; Children voting for their likes and dislikes during a focus group discussion

Week 2: July 27 - Aug 2

The 2020 Child Friendly Spaces season has officially kicked off! This week, all five factories offering CFS for the first time have opened their doors. 109 children aged 4-12 years in total are attending these 5 spaces. 

In addition to the four CFS we featured in our update last week, another CFS in Ningbo opened its door to 20 children this Tuesday. Despite working on a tight schedule, the factory acted immediately to speed up the preparation work. The factory also reserved a special section in the canteen so that the children can have lunch together with their parents. 

Clockwise from left: children having lunch with their parents in the factory canteen in Ningbo, children at the Ningbo CFS playing paper airplanes, children at a CFS in Guangdong on the opening day.

Notably, one CFS factory in Fujian already received very positive feedback from children and parents on its third day of opening. Children had a great time at the CFS making new friends and doing fun activities, and some were even reluctant to go home at the end of the day.

Next week, CCR CSR will start conduct monitoring visits to new CFS factories to assess the daily operation of CFS and collect feedback from children, parents, teachers and factory managers.

Week 1: July 20 - 26

14 factories are in the process of opening a Child Friendly Space (CFS) this summer. Five of those are opening it for the first time, while 9 continue to provide childcare services to parent workers based on their experience and success opening such spaces in the past.

This week, we interviewed the management team of 4 new CFS to make sure everything is in place for the opening including the renovation, operation procedure as well as health and safety precautions in times of COVID-19. The pictures below show one CFS in Fujian after renovation.

Meanwhile, one new factory in Guangdong has become the first CFS to begin operations this summer after opening its doors this week. 21 children started this special summer vacation with handicraft activities, dancing, table tennis and outdoor games. 

Published on   01/09/2020
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