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  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    A worker takes care of ready mugs at the Dongguan Concord Pottery factory in Southern China.

    In China, more than 61 million children are left at home with relatives when parents migrate for work. Most of the workers at Dongguan Concord Potter come from far away.

     

    As a direct result of a training by CCR CSR on the impact on workers that have their children hundreds of miles away for years on end, a day care centre was started at Concord Pottery.

     

    Dongguan Concord Pottery makes ceramic cups and other items for a leading coffee shop brand. They employ around 3,000 people at their factory in Southern China. The company has worked with Save the Children’s centre for child rights and business in China (Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility, CCR CSR) since 2013 in order to improve the situation for their workers who are also parents.

     

    The partnership has meant quick and tangible improvements, not only for employees and their children, but increased staff retention and lower costs for the factory itself.

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/30s at f/3.2

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Mould making at the Dongguan Concord Pottery factory in Southern China.

     

    There is a striking labour shortage in Southern China, recruitment is a constant worry for most factories; but after the news of Concord’s nursery spread recruitment got easier.

     

    “It was quite a sight, I opened up the gates when we started recruiting again after New Year, and there was a long queue outside,” Lake Law who is head of corporate social responsibility says. “It hasn’t happened in years.”

     

    “Workers have no access to services here for their children, so they leave them at home,” Lake Law says. “The strain on parents working far away from their children, and on the children also, is high. It is not easy. Now we encourage parents to bring their children. We have converted some of the factory dormitories to accommodate families. It makes sense, we need skilled workers, we need workers to stay. And training new workers cost money.”

     

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/125 and 1/160s at f/2.8

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Lake Law, head of corporate social responsibility at Dongguan Concord Pottery.

     

    “The day care centre makes sense financially, Lake Law, the head of corporate social responsibility says. It is hard to put an exact dollar value to it perhaps, but with workers’ happiness, better retention rates and ease of recruitment, we feel it is worth it. And it is also the right thing to do.”

     

    As a direct result of a training by CCR CSR on migrant parents and the impact on workers that have their children hundreds of miles away for years on end, a day care centre was started at Concord Pottery.

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/60s and 1/50 at f/2.8

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Shao Haoliang and his wife Wang Shuqin with their son Shao Qian in the dining hall at Dongguan Concord Pottery in Southern China. The company recently started a day care centre at the factory, which made it possible for them to bring their son from their home village.

     

    Haoliang has just finished his shift as security guard at the gate of Dongguan Concord Pottery in Southern China. He is meeting his wife Wang Shuqin, who also works at the factory, in the factory dining hall. Their son Shao Qian is also here – reading a comic book at the stainless-steel table. It is the first time for years that he lives with his parents.

     

    “There is a warm feeling here. I like it. The company hires nice staff that takes care of the children now and they also help with their education. So really, no more worries, my son can get a good education now and my wife and I can focus on our work without worrying for him.”

     

    Haoliang’s son Shao Qian is 9 years old and used to live with his grandparents while his mum and dad worked in Dongguan, far from home. Typically, Chinese migrant parents who leave their children behind see their children once a year at Chinese New Year, and then just for a few days.

     

    “My parents are like most grandparents, quite old and not really able to deal with a lively childlike Shao Qian. He has changed a lot since he came here I think, he is livelier and more outgoing, but also thoughtful and well behaved. He says coming here is better than staying at home, he can study better and play better here.”

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/80s at f/2.8

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Last of the kitchen staff finishes lunch in the dining hall at the Dongguan Concord Pottery factory in Southern China. Workers take turn to cook for the others and a committee decides on lunch and dinner menus.

     

    In China over 61 million children are left behind when their parents move to other parts of the country to look for work. The long-term impact for both children and parents is well documented, but family issues are seldom taken into account by companies when they try to improve worker retention, production quality and profit margins.

     

    CCR CSR conducted a study in 2013 that showed that 80% of parents with children left behind in their home town/village felt inadequate as parents and worry about their children was listed as causing frequent errors in almost 40% of the over 1,500 migrant workers that were part of the study. Leaving your children behind with relatives or other care takers is a major concern, not just for the parents, but for the companies that hire them.

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/125 at f/2.8

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Children playing at the day care centre at the Dongguan Concord Pottery factory in Southern China.

     

    The day care centre at the Dongguan Concord Pottery factory is full of children playing – making hand stands, building a pirate ship or trying to hide from each other in an elaborate game of hide and seek. On the other side of the windows, in the next room, some of the older children are doing their homework. It is a typical evening at the newly started centre.

     

    “We are trying to build up a good place where parents can work well and kids can learn well. That is our goal,” Lu Zhiqin, responsible for the day care centre, says.

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/60 at f/2.8

    • Used on the front page of CCR CSR's web site. The Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility works in mainland China, Hong Hong and in a number of other countries in South East Asia.

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    A father helps his son with homework at the day care centre at the Dongguan Concord Pottery factory in Southern China.

     

    Lu Zhiqin is responsible for the day care centre at Dongguan Concord Pottery:

     

    “The older children will come here by themselves after school, the younger ones are brought here by their parents. Older children will often do their homework here and we give them a space to study in peace. We bring the younger out to play in the play area.”

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/140 at f/2.8

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Children playing at the day care centre at the Dongguan Concord Pottery factory in Southern China.

     

    It took some time for the day care centre to be accepted by the staff:

     

    “At first parents didn’t think this would be a good place,” Lu Zhiqin says. “Because it is free of charge they thought ‘it’s impossible’ and thought their children wouldn’t be treated well. I felt they were sceptical to me and the rest of the staff. Gradually that changed when they saw the impact this place has on their children.”

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/50 at f/2.8

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Shi Qin is the front desk receptionist at Dongguan Concord Pottery. She has been with the company for 11 years.

     

    “I feel good about work, because my kid is here in the day care centre. All parents here can set our minds to rest when working. I’m not worried that he will be in danger, that sort of thing. The factory did a good job setting it up,” Shi Qin says.

     

    “Before when there was no day care centre we used to leave our kids in the community centre before we went to work and basically nobody took care of them. We used to leave them in the area outside the dormitory building, outside the dining hall where there is some exercise equipment. The security guards would talk to them and keep them out of danger, but not take care of them. It was too dangerous to leave them in the dormitories, with electric equipment and things.”

     

    “I think Concord is very considerate to employees. We can bring our son here now that Concord has set up kindergarten, and raise him ourselves. When we get off work or during vacations, we can be with him. It’s so much better to bring your children here than leaving them in your hometown.”

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/100 at f/4

  • A day care centre makes all the difference.

    Lu Zhiqin is responsible for the day care centre at Dongguan Concord Pottery in Southern China.

     

    “Every child of every Concord employee can come here, but we restrict it to children between the ages of three and ten,” Lu Zhiqin explains, she is responsible for the day care centre. “We do not have resources to care for children under three, because they require a lot of attention – but their parents or grandparents can bring them here to play with them if they like.”

     

    Having a day care centre at a work place is not common in China. But there is a striking labour shortage in Southern China, so recruitment is a constant worry for most factories. A day care centre was seen by Dongguan Concord Pottery as a competitive advantage in trying to attract and retain staff.

     

     

    Having a day care centre at a work place is not common in China. But there is a striking labour shortage in Southern China, so recruitment is a constant worry for most factories. The day care centre has meant that some parents are more willing to stay longer at the factory, something that Lu Zhiqin hear a lot:

     

    “Some of them didn’t even think of working here originally, but when they heard that their kids could be taken care of and have shelter they become interested. After all, they work for the sake of their children. So as long as their children are safe and sound, they will feel that they want to continue working here.”

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    China, 2015

    CCR CSR

    Nikon D800
    Nikkor 24-70mm lens,
    1/60 and 1/100 at f/2.8