Shanghai to build workplace nurseries to encourage women to have second child

Yang Huiqing looks at her baby after a cesarean section in Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai.
Yang Huiqing looks at her baby after a cesarean section in Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Shanghai will build 50 nurseries in various workplaces by the end of this year in efforts to encourage more families to have a second child, following the implementation of the second-child policy across China last year.

The Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions said on Monday (March 6) that it will step up its efforts in the next two years to promote a better environment for raising children and make life more convenient for working parents in the city.

According to a survey jointly conducted by the federation and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in 2016, about 80 per cent of women in the city who are of childbearing age said they are unwilling to have a second child.

The major reason given by the interviewed women, who all hold permanent residence permits, was that they have nobody to help them take care of babies.

As a pilot project, the federation has already established nursery centres at 12 companies, which help take care of working parents' children.

Various child care services are offered at the centres, which are mainly located in enterprises, industrial parks and public institutions, the federation said, adding that it has received positive feedback.

It not only helps working parents solve child care issues, but it is also beneficial for the child care service system, said He Huijuan, vice-chairwoman of the federation.

An additional 800 breast-feeding rooms will be introduced across the city in the next two years, which will bring the total number to more than 2,500, according to the federation, which introduced breast-feeding rooms known as "Mummy Huts" in 2013, aimed at providing working women with private, safe and hygienic places to feed babies.

An official with the federation said companies and institutions are encouraged to create more breast-feeding rooms for their working mothers.

Preschool education and nursery institutions in the city cater to children aged 3 or older, with few institutions offering child care services for children aged younger than 3.

A preliminary calculation by the Shanghai Women's Federation showed that about 100,000 children who are aged between 2 and 3 and have permanent residence permits require nursery services, but that there are only 39 independent nursery intuitions.