Morning Light is a toy and packaging manufacturer in Dongguan, China. Since 2019, the factory has been operating a Family-Friendly Space (FFS) within its premises every summer to support parent workers in need of childcare and to provide an opportunity for left-behind children to reunite with their parents over the summer.
Close to 50 children attend the summer program each year, bringing immense relief to their working parents. The factory has enjoyed numerous business improvements because of this initiative. In the interview featured here, Morning Light’s Human Resource Manager, Huang Man, tells us their experiences with the Family-Friendly Spaces program in detail.
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What prompted you to take part in the Family-Friendly Spaces program in the first place?
We wanted to bring convenience to the workers and to pay more attention to the left-behind children."
Can you briefly describe how FFS works at your factory?
It opened during the summer holidays. We hired four teachers to work at the space and the children were dropped off and collected by their parents every day.
We offered an innovative curriculum, which included etiquette courses (the children now call everyone they see at the factory “Uncle” and “Auntie”) and English Oral classes (the children can now communicate in simple English), etc.
Why did you decide to keep running the program independently after the first year?
We decided to keep running the FFS program after the first year as we gained the trust and affirmation of our parent workers.
Why did you run the FFS program in 2020 despite the uncertainty from COVID-19?
We continued running the FFS because our workers have a need for it and in order to support our clients and IETP.
What positive changes has the Family-Friendly Spaces program brought to your factory?
FFS has improved the local reputation of the company and enhanced the cohesion of employees. The parent workers are very grateful for the factory's contribution to support them, and they took the initiative to send flowers to thank the general manager and teachers.
What impressed you the most from the Family-Friendly Spaces program?
Our team dares to challenge and be innovative. During the entire project, from the design of the uniform to the organization of activities, we strive to present parents and their children with something new.
The teachers tailor-made their own program for the children. Every child shone on stage during the closing ceremony. Despite being so young, these children are very capable.
Our general manager, Mrs. Yang, is very caring, and carefully prepared gifts (schoolbags/snack packs) for the opening of the FFS for the children, and prepared a photo album of the company's activities for the children during the closing activities.
Children know how to be grateful, how to share, and have become confident, generous and optimistic. At the parent-teacher meeting, every child expressed their love for their mom and dad and gave them handmade roses. To express their appreciation towards the general manager the children made a drawing of Ms. Yang and gave it to her as a gift."
What kind of resources do you need to put into FFS each year to operate it independently? Does the investment you put into FFS pay off? If yes, how?
The main resources include hiring a team of teachers and a project team. The investment has paid off in terms of enhanced staff cohesion, a stronger team spirit and a greater sense of belonging.
What special health & safety measures did you put in place this year in response to COVID-19?
We took temperature checks, used a health card system, disinfected, made sure everyone brings their own cups, and handed out masks for free.
How can you support the program?
Contact us via email@example.com if you want to learn how the program works, the benefits it delivers, how can it incorporate into your CSR strategy, etc.