A report by the International Finance Company and the Nigerian Exchange Limited has revealed that improving access to childcare for working parents will lead to the generation of more revenue by companies.

The report released on Wednesday said the scope of the study covered six Nigerian states (FCT-Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers states) across the macro, market, and firm levels including nearly 7,000 stakeholders—6,000 employees, 380 employers, and 350 childcare providers.

The study found large gaps in workplace policies and practices that concern parental leave, workplace flexibility, and access to good quality childcare that is affordable and convenient.

Part of the report said, “Childcare that is affordable, of good quality, and convenient is a game changer for working parents of both genders, but especially for women who are more likely to be limited in their careers if their childcare is inadequate. Childcare can bring peace of mind, and it enables women to enhance productivity. If Nigeria can maximise the achievements of women—both as workers and as leaders—companies will generate more revenue, and the nation will follow. A key part of the solution is tackling Nigeria’s childcare deficit and providing the necessary affordable financing.”

It was revealed that closing these gaps requires the intervention of multiple stakeholders—employers, childcare providers, governments, industry associations, and investors who can tap into a N15tn ($35 billion) market opportunity based on UN Women 2021 data.

The new report, titled ‘Investing in Childcare: A Game Changer for Businesses and the Nigerian Economy, found that only five per cent of Nigeria’s private sector employers invest in childcare despite 67 per cent of working parents reporting that they were more productive at work when they had easier access to childcare.

According to the study, investing in childcare by offering on-site or near-site childcare services, or the financial support to access childcare, presents an opportunity for employers to improve employees’ productivity, reap efficiency improvements, and boost business outcomes.

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