Access to quality and affordable childcare has far-reaching and immediate effects, not only on children but for women and society as well. It improves women’s employment opportunities enabling greater economic security, equality and empowerment, while growing global economies.
In a landmark report issued last week, the World Bank estimates that 350 million children worldwide lack access to quality childcare and expanding the childcare workforce to serve these children could create 43-53 million global jobs in an industry largely dominated by women.
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we asked OneSky teachers, trainers, trainees, a working mom, and foster mom from across our programs how childcare and caring for children has changed their lives.
“I took care of every child with all my heart.” – Baoyu, Foster Mom, China
I’m 60 years old this year. In 2007, I successfully applied to be a foster mom in OneSky’s Loving Families Program. For the past 15 years, I took care of every child with all my heart. The loving care each child received shaped their lives as well as mine. When a child grew up and left, I struggled to part with them. But, when I look at the children who’ve just arrived at our home, I have hope. I believe the children I took care of will pass on my love to others.
“I finally felt relieved and free of guilt for being a working mom.” – Chi, Factory Worker, Vietnam
Childcare is one of my greatest concerns. When my daughter was 6 months old, I had to go back to work and send her to a childminder. I always felt guilty for leaving her with someone else, but I had no choice. When she got a place at OneSky’s Early Learning Centre I saw how much love and care she received. I felt relieved and finally free of guilt for being a working mom. One and half years on, she’s such a confident, inquisitive, and happy little girl. I know I’ve done the best I could for my child.
“My dream came true.” – Byambaa, OneSky Trainer, Mongolia
I became a OneSky trainer in 2020. When I was young, I wanted to grow up and become a teacher. As a childcare trainer, my dream came true and I am excited to see how, thanks to the support of our project in Ulaanbaatar, parents are starting to spend more time with their children and understand the importance of interacting with them.
“I have so much pride now. ” – Quy, Home-based Childcare Trainee, Vietnam
I’ve been a caregiver for over 15 years and until recently it was just a job and a means of living. However, since I joined the OneSky training program, I realized it’s so much more than that. Everything was explained simply from the point of view of a baby’s brain. The training made childcare easier and more enjoyable. I’ve engaged more, listened more, given more, and in return, I feel more fulfilled. I also have so much pride now in what I’m doing, knowing that what I’ve put into these children will prepare them for their whole lives.
“I am so touched to see parents’ eagerness.” – Angela, Early Childhood Development Trainer, Hong Kong
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to touch the lives of so many caregivers and their children through our parent training program. I am so touched to see parents’ eagerness and commitment to acquire new skills and watch the incredible changes in their children as they apply what they have learned. It has been a pleasure working with the caregivers and growing together, to bring a positive impact to the most vulnerable children.
“Grateful for their progress, grateful for this life.” – Xuejun, Preschool Mentor, China
I learned to observe children’s behaviors and interpret their interests and needs. I encourage them to explore the surroundings and improve their ability to solve problems. I learned too how to establish an emotional attachment, so they would grow up with the same skill. I see their innocent, cute and bright smiles every day, their confidence and pride – it makes me grateful for their progress and grateful for this life.
“Childcare helps kids thrive and supports hardworking families.” – Tuyen, Early Learning Center Teacher, Vietnam
I always loved children so becoming a teacher was my dream. Working for OneSky has been so rewarding – I’m a teacher and I’m working for a charity at the same time. Childcare helps kids thrive in their early years and supports hardworking families. I go to work each day wanting to give these children the same love they get from their own working moms.
“Now, I’m sharing what I learned to more village mothers.” – Fangjie, Village Program Family Mentor, China
I will never forget the OneSky parenting skills training I joined back in 2015. I remember after training my neighbor’s child had just turned six months old. I was able to explain how to take the best care of her child. I showed her how to respond to the child by imitating her mumbling and the importance of reading picture books and stories to her. I encouraged her to give her child opportunities to try and do tasks for herself. Now, I’m sharing what I learned to more village mothers.
“Children have taught me to be honest with myself.” – Stephanie, OneSky Senior Family Mentor, Hong Kong
Responsive care means listening to and learning from children. Children show huge emotional courage to be vulnerable and truthful. Beyond learning how to care for children they have taught me to be honest with myself and to act accordingly.