The background story
- Over 260 million people in China have left home in search of work
- 62 million children have been left-behind by parents due to this mass migration
- Over 40% of working parents have left work due to concerns related to their children, according to a 2013 CCR CSR study
- The same study found that almost 40% of working parents admit to making errors at work due to worries about their children
- Many parents only get to see their children once a year
- Many parents would like to find work closer to their children but struggle to find factories that provide facilities and/or support provisions for the family
1. Parent Training - Parents at Work: Distance Without Separation
CCR CSR has developed a parenting training program, which aims to provide a range of important support mechanisms and tools necessary for improving and maintaining relationships between migrant workers and their children. This training program emphasizes the wellbeing of the parents with the belief that a mentally and physically healthy parent will be a focused and happier worker.
This one day training course consists of three modules with ten sessions in each module. By the end of the training, parents are expected to:
- Have an increased sense of value as a parent and lead a happier and healthier life
- Understand the rights and needs of the child at different ages for better communication with and support to their children
- Develop remote communication skills with their children to build closer relationships
- Recognize signs of distress and being hurt
- Support children’s growth and development
"After the training, I tried to spend less time on my smartphone and paid more attention to my daughter. When we chat, I listen to her more attentively and observe her reaction. In the past, I had little patience with her and was easy to get angry, which always left her crying. After the training, I changed my attitude towards her, becoming more patient and gentle. Our relationship has improved a lot." A mother who works in a factory in Dongguan who attended the parent training.
2. Factory Child Friendly Spaces
CCR CSR offers Parent Support Packages that provide working parents with the support needed to regularly connect with their children, such as pre-paid phone cards, support groups and activities etc. As part of this package, we also develop a "Factory Child-Friendly Space" (FCFS) tool for brands and its suppliers. FCFS is a temporary, factory-based facility intended to give children and their working parents more time to spend together during the summer. Because of the lack of access to child-care services, a large number of migrant parents have to leave their child at home in their villages. This separation results in a significant strain on relationships, parents' well-being and children’s development. By providing a safe and inclusive child-friendly space, FCFS allows parents and children to be together and to increase worker’s satisfaction.
This space aims to:
- Provide a child-friendly environment that allows for children’s play and recreation, daily contact and joint activities with parents
- Improved trust in not only family relationships, but also in employer-employee relations
- Reduce recruitment and training costs due to increased worker loyalty and morale
- Achieve higher worker retention and less risk associated with the usage of labor agents
- Offer a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining staff
3. WeChat eLearning Platform
CCR CSR's WeChat eLearning platform supports parent workers, particularly those with left-behind children. A joint initiative with UNICEF, the platform includes animated lessons, videos and quizzes that introduce them to tools, activities and tips that can help strengthen the parent-child bond. More info here.
CCR CSR's Photovoice parent tool gives factories a chance to positively engage with their workers by giving them the opportunity to express and share stories through the medium of photography. Find out more here.
You may also be interested in reading our 2013 study on migrant parents with left-behind children here.