Family-Friendly Spaces 2023 Updates

2023 is the 8th year we have ran our Family-Friendly Spaces (FFS) program. This year, with the COVID-19 situation under control in China, we are proud to have 33 factories participating in Family-Friendly Spaces welcoming nearly 1,440 children.

Our Family-Friendly Spaces program provides secure and well-equipped spaces at factories for children to learn and play while their parents work. The program promotes child-friendly employment practices, supports the United Nations SDGs: 3, 4, 5, 10 & 17 and allows parents to work free from childcare burden.

The Family-Friendly Spaces program enables factories to bring positive impacts to working parents and their children, while at the same time, creating measurable business benefits for the factories.

We will regularly update this page and our social media, Twitter & Linkedin pages, with images, videos & stories from the spaces.

Weekly Updates:

Family-Friendly Spaces 2023: Impact Report now available

This year's Family-Friendly Spaces program has come to a close, you can now view and download the impact report which summarises this year's program achievements and impacts.

Download the report below

Family-Friendly Spaces 2023: Pursuing the Global Ambition Together

To date, a total of 52 factories have participated in the Family-Friendly Spaces program, benefiting around 5,600 working parents and 5,500 children. 2023 marks our 8th year operating the Family-Friendly Spaces program.

During this year's sharing conference, held on the 29th of August, we reflected on the positive impact the program has had on stakeholders and invited a group of children who completed the FFS program to attend the conference.

Our President & CEO, Carmel Giblin, and the General Manager of Heshan Astros Printing, Alvin Lai both celebrated the success of this year’s program in their opening remarks. 

Carmel shared that she was immensely proud of the FFS program’s success, noting that over 5,500 children have participated in the program since its launch in 2016, with 33 factories establishing a family-friendly space over the course of this year. 

She also underscored the positive impact of the program on various stakeholders, from helping factories to recruit new staff, ensuring stable supply chains, enabling working parents to spend more time with their children, and bringing about positive, long-lasting change for participating children.

Alvin also acknowledged the success of the FFS program, highlighting the benefits of summer childcare for working parents. In his remarks, he shared his vision to implement a people-oriented workplace culture by drawing on the success of the FFS program to improve employee well-being and morale.

Anita Lo, IETP's General Manager of Asia Operations, provided an update on the latest developments and key achievements of the FFS program. She also gave a brief introduction to this year’s new “Care Week” competition and invited some distinguished guests to present awards to this year’s prize-winners. 

“A total of 52 factories have participated in the FFS program since its launch, benefiting around 5,600 working parents and 5,500 children. We are very proud of this achievement”, said Anita. “The scope of the program has also expanded – initially, it was only open to children of migrant workers, but now local families are also able to participate. By providing childcare during the summer holidays, we have helped to reduce absenteeism among female workers.”

This year’s “Care Week” included a Love Drawing Competition, ‘the Ambassador of Love’ Competition, and other teaching activities, aimed at encouraging children to develop a sense of gratitude and help people in need.

During the awards presentation, a total of 7 children or their representatives were presented with first prizes, second prizes, third prizes, and the special prize for their participation in the Love Drawing Competition. Through a series of colourful and creative drawings, the children communicated their desire to help others and express their gratitude.

Ellen Cheng, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist from UNICEF China, praised the FFS program for its win-win outcomes and highlighted the benefits of establishing family-friendly workplaces for children, families, companies, communities and society as a whole. Fengqun Deng and Tao Li introduced the various activities organised by their factories over the course of the summer aimed at helping children to develop a sense of caring and responsibility.

Xiaobing Zheng, Vice Union President from Dongguan Yuyuan Shoes Co., Ltd, highlighted how the FFS program has enabled working parents to spend more time with their children and receive support with childcare during the summer holidays, thus helping the factory to reduce unpaid leave rate and absenteeism.

At the end of the conference, Carmel, our President & CEO, expressed her thanks to the sponsors and participants of the IETP Family-Friendly Factories (FFF) program and appealed for continued support to enable us to make a life-changing difference to hundreds of thousands of children of factory workers and deliver our goal of establishing 100 family-friendly spaces and supporting 30,000 children by the end of 2025.

If you would like to learn more and support our FFF and/or FFS programs, please email join@ethicaltoyprogram.org to indicate your interest.


Learn about how you can support or join the 2024 program here

Week 4: Family-Friendly Spaces Sharing Conference

On the 29th of August, we held this year’s Family-Friendly Spaces Sharing Conference. The conference is a great opportunity to bring everyone together the celebrate the positive impact highlights of this year’s program. This year, we held a hybrid conference from Heshan, China, with 120 attendees from all over the world, both online and in-person, made up of representatives from factories, sponsors, IETP representatives, and some of the children participating in this year’s program.  

The conference included an awards ceremony to award the winners of last week’s Care Week competitions as well as lots of performances from the children, including Martial Arts and singing performances.

We sincerely thank all of the participating factories for their support and effort in promoting and participating in this year’s Care Week Competitions.

Please see the below winners of each competition category:

Love Drawing Competition (Preschool Group)



1st Prize

Best Image (Ying De) Toys Co., Ltd.

The 1st prize winner demonstrated a high competency in drawing and clearly expressed how cared for she felt by the medical staff, police officers, and her mother.

2nd Prize

Yongzhou Mayuanda Toys Co., Ltd.

The 2nd prize winner clearly told the story of how they wished to plant a tree of love.

3rd Prize

Million Best(Fogang) Toys Co., Ltd.

The 3rd prize winner drew the scene of helping an elderly to cross the road and expressed caring for the elderly, demonstrating the kid’s considerate thinking.

Love Drawing Competition (Youth Group)


1st Prize

GOLD EAGLE PRINTING CO.,LTD

The 1st prize winner demonstrated different actions to care for others and thorough thinking in organizing images before drawing.

2nd Prize

Best Image (Ying De) Toys Co., Ltd.

The 2nd prize winner used beautiful color matching and showed everyone can care for others and give their hearts to others.

3rd Prize

Dongguan Yue Yuen Shoes Products Co., Ltd.

The 3rd prize winner has delivered a message that everyone can share their loves with others and employed vivid colors in the drawing.

Special Prize

GOLD EAGLE PRINTING CO.,LTD

The drawing of the special prize winner is detailed and layered and reflects a strong and warm atmosphere from the image of caring for the elderly.


Congratulations once again to this year’s competition winners!

Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s sharing conference and a special thank you to Mr. Alvin Lai, the General Manager of Heshan Astros Printing Ltd., as well as his employees for their all kinds of support, including the provision of the conference venue, helping with the smooth running of the event.

Week 3: Care Week & Competition

 

Every year, we ask the Spaces to hold activities and experiences around a given theme. This year’s theme was ‘Care’, caring for one another is an important lesson for the children to learn and take with them throughout their lives.

Care Week involved a variety of activities and competitions to help the participating children establish good values and enhance their emotional intelligence and social skills, from drawing competitions to writing caring messages for people in need.

Care Week had four main competitions for the children, program teachers and factory program leaders. These included a Love Drawing Competition and ‘the Ambassador of Love’ Competition for the participating children, and also, the Outstanding Teaching Award Competition and Team Project Award Competition for the teachers and participating factory program leaders.

2023 Care Week Child Competitions

We were delighted to see the colourful pictures created by children, photos of the nominated ambassadors of love, teaching materials lovingly prepared by teachers, and summary reports of meaningful days drafted by the program factory leaders.

The children’s pictures depicted drawings of people caring for the people with disabilities, the elderly, service workers, etc. The ambassadors of love photos showed the children caring for and helping others, like tidying up the quilts, cleaning the desks, and taking care of each other. After completing these acts of care, the children appeared happier and more confident.

Below are some of these wonderful drawings and photos we received. Upon completion of the competitions, all competition winners will be awarded fabulous prizes and the list of competition winners will be announced soon. Keep an eye on this page for more updates and announcements!

2023 Care Week Teacher & Factory Competitions
2023 Care Week Competition's Drawings
2023 Ambassadors of Love

Week 2: Teaching Activities & Excursions

 

Stepping into the second week of the Family-Friendly Spaces program, each participating factory hosted a wide variety of teaching activities and excursions, which enabled the children to acquire new knowledge, gain hobbies, and develop a closer relationship with their parents.

The Family-Friendly Spaces teachers made use of the LEGO gifts for the six bricks teaching method, some of our spaces also taught the children how to sow seeds, which the children will water and tend to throughout the summer. All of these activities help the children learn in different ways, developing their cognitive skills, patience and imagination.

Lots of fun was had outside of the spaces too, some spaces arranged experiences including a family party at McDonald’s, pottery classes and even a visit to the local fire station where the children were able to dress up as firemen and learn about fire safety. The family visit to McDonald’s enabled the parents and children to spend even more time together, enjoying food and drinks over their lunch break and creating precious moments and lasting memories.

All of these activities and excursions help to create a magical and memorable summer, not just for the participating children, but for their working parents too. Thank you to all of the program leaders and teachers for putting together such a fantastic week for the program participants!

2023 FFS Week 2

Week 1: Opening Ceremony of the Family-Friendly Spaces Program

 

Each factory holds an opening ceremony to mark the program's beginning. This July, all 33 factories participating in the program put on great ceremonies sharing what they had in store for the children this summer. The Opening Ceremonies are a wonderful opportunity for the parents to learn more about the program, meet the teachers and delight in watching their children receive piles of gifts from the program’s sponsors.

The Opening Ceremonies begin with opening speeches from the Family-Friendly Spaces Program Factory Leaders, ICTI Ethical Toy Program representatives and program sponsors. There are also lively performances from the participating children from singing, dancing to acting.  

The children were then handed their gifts from this year’s sponsors, from toy cars to dolls, books, plush toys and puzzles the children happily shared and played with them together.

We would like to sincerely thank all of this year’s program sponsors, including Crayola, Disney, DK, Hallmark, Hape, LEGO®, Macy's, Mattel, Moose Toys, Spin Master, The Marketing Store, and TÜV Rheinland.

FFS Opening Ceremony 2023

Planning & Preparation Week: Family-Friendly Spaces Program Factory Leader & Teacher Training

 

At the beginning of each summer we hold a planning and preparation week, to help prepare the spaces, teachers and factory leaders for a successful summer.

To ensure the Family-Friendly Spaces (FFS) program implements safe and educational spaces each teacher and factory leader are required to attend respective training courses in May and July.

This year, 28 program leaders attended our Family-Friendly Spaces (FFS) factory leader training course. This training course not only outlines ways to implement and manage the FFS program, but improves parenting and parent-child communication skills with the attendees.

FFS Program PIC Training 2023

This year’s teacher training hosted a total of 32 teachers. This training provides the teachers with various skills from parenting, mind mapping and even aspects of the Montessori Method. Helping these teachers master their communication skills and teaching methods.

Many attendees from the two training courses highlighted to us that they felt more confident in leading their Family-Friendly Space. They also mentioned that the teaching content provided by the training instructors was very practical and interesting and that they hoped to join the training course hosted by us next year.

FFS Teacher Training 2023

Before the spaces open:

Before opening our spaces, we take the below steps to build-up the factories' knowledge on how to run the Family-Friendly Spaces program and transform the spaces into safe, colorful, and fun activity areas for children to play, learn and socialise in.

How you can support the programs

Our 'Best for Workers' booklet outlines how our worker well-being programs support parent workers at our factories. Download the booklet to find out more about how the programs work, the benefits they deliver, and how you can get involved. Please contact join@ethicaltoyrogram.org for inquiries.

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