India has one of the largest gender gaps in labor force participation in the world, despite being one of the fastest-growing major economies. In India, the female labor force participation rate is just 27 percent and women contribute only 17 percent of gross domestic product (ILO 2017, McKinsey 2018). Lack of access to affordable, good quality childcare is a key constraint to greater female labor force participation in India—and to better child development outcomes.
Following the passing of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act of 2017, a move by the Indian government to increase access to childcare, Indian employers started mobilizing in greater numbers to provide this benefit to employees. The amended law increases maternity leave benefits and mandates that employers with more than 50 employees provide crèche services.
This report builds on IFC’s global report on Tackling Childcare and is the result of a collaboration with Bright Horizons, Goldman Sachs, J. Sagar Associates, and NASSCOM. The report identifies how Indian employers can implement a crèche strategy to not only meet the new government mandate, but also to help working parents and young children and boost employers’ bottom line.
The report presents findings from a survey administered to nearly 300 companies in India and from roundtable discussions conducted around the country. It offers recommendations for employers, the government, donors, and investors on how to maximize the benefits to employers, employees and their children, as well as the Indian economy.