HR staff pass Kids’ Club message on to parents

Supermarket giant Asda has launched a service to help its personnel managers give staff information about childcare.

The service will allow staff with children to access comprehensive and up-to-date information on childcare in their area, from after-school clubs to childminders.

Run in conjunction with the charity Kids’ Clubs Network, it was launched in all 238 stores last week.

Project manager Kate De Fraja, who also works as a store manager on a job share basis, said, “Our colleagues tell us that as parents they want access to childcare, particularly during the holidays, but often don’t know where to start.

“Our partnership with the Kids’ Clubs Network will enable all our store personnel managers to have direct links with their Early Years and Childcare Development Partnerships and get all the information on local childcare provision.”

Anne Longfield, director of Kids’ Clubs Network, said managing childcare over the school holidays is particularly difficult for working parents.

“We hope this partnership will help those who need childcare to find it and so make it easier for working parents to juggle work and family life this summer.”

The service comes as a Mori survey commissioned for National Childcare Week 2000 by the Daycare Trust found 75 per cent of parents do not believe working mothers have sufficient access to affordable childcare.

Nearly half of those questioned also named a supportive employer and the opportunity to work part-time as the most important factors for mothers wanting to return to work.

A Daycare Trust report also launched last week urges employers to do more to help staff with childcare. Investing in Success says employers are failing both parents and children, despite growing expectations and rhetoric about work-life balance.

Asda has a range of policies aimed at helping employees balance work with family commitments. They include allowing staff to stop work for a short period during the summer and shift swapping schemes.

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