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Company all-day child care facilities

Salzburg (AT): Implementation of Company all-day child care facilities in the rural area of Salzburg

The “Pfifferlingsplatz” Association was established in 2005 with the aim of implementing an all-day childcare facility in the rural area of Salzburg. In association with the company “Sport & more Unterwurzacher GmbH”, a small-sized company in the tourist sector and mainly employing women, Pfifferlingsplatz provides childcare for the mothers employed in the company.

The main objective of the initiative was to support the reconciliation of work and family with provision of an “innovative, future-oriented and flexible childcare service” with high-quality care for children aged 1.5-14 years. The facility provides all-day, year-round care until the late afternoon, including lunch, also during holiday periods. Qualified after-school homework help for school-children is offered and well as a flexible ad hoc temporary babysitting service, to be reserved one day before.

The initiative is managed by the Pfifferlingsplatz Association, while the cooperating tourist company Unterwurzacher offers the infrastructure, which was financed by the ERDF.

The main beneficiaries are the mothers (and fathers) who work for the company, while free available places are also given to mothers who do not work in the company. This facilitates the labour market inclusion of mothers, who might be employed full-time or interested in working. Besides, the local company also profits from this service, as it is easier to meet/satisfy their demand for qualified employees, especially during holiday periods.

The initiative has proved successful, increasing the available number of all-day childcare places also offering places to children under 3 and over 6 years. These services are relatively scarce in the rural areas, as they are not covered by public services, which hampers the access of mothers to the labour market, because childcare, especially in rural areas where traditional mentalities dominate, is considered to be the mother’s responsibility. Thanks to close cooperation with the company, women are facilitated in labour market integration.

The rural economic structure, mainly based on tourism, requires a high number of employers, especially during holiday periods when public childcare facilities are closed. A study carried out by the Salzburg regional government and the local Project Manager for Equal Opportunities at the beginning of the programme period supported/stressed the necessity for all-day childcare facilities in the rural area and revealed strong demand on the part of the local mothers employed or wishing to return to the labour market.

Despite great resistance to the project from the local authorities, the initiative could be realized thanks to financial support from the National Ministry for Social Security, Generations and Consumers Protection, the ERDF (providing financial aid for the construction of the infrastructure) and the Salzburg Regional Government financing the furniture and materials needed to equip the child care facility. Consequentely, in the first year the local municipality and the regional government had no costs to bear.

After the successful creation of the facility, a second all-day childcare facility was established in October 2007 (also financed by ERDF), in cooperation with the company “Fahnen-Gärtner”, a medium-sized textile company with 150 employees, of which 65% are women.
While there are three women employed in the first childcare facility for a total 25 children (max. 16 at the same time), in the second facility there are 5 female teachers for 25 full-time childcare places. Additionally, the “Pfifferlingsplatz” Association built up a partnership with another local project, which offers childcare for the handicapped.

So far, both facilities have been running successfully, involving both local companies and women in the rural area. The facilities can be considered an additional service within the rural region, as children between the ages of 1-3 and over 6 are not covered by the public services. This, together with the flexible opening times, also during holidays, is the main success factor for the initiative. The close cooperation with local companies also profits from this service, as mothers can work full-time, which in turn supports the local economy characterised by a strong demand for local employees.

The provision of these facilities and the demand for them on the part of women shows that there is a real need for all-day services. The opening times of the public childcare facilities often fail to consider women’s’ needs, both in opening times and opening periods, which is an important factor for labour market inclusion.

Technical information

Total Investment

EUR 174 000

EU contribution

49%

Contact

Alterserweiterte Gruppe Fahnen-Gärtner "Pfifferlingsplatzl"
Kürsingerdamm 13,
A-5730, Mittersill
Österreich
Tel.: +43 06562 5981
E-Mail: brigitte.nindl@sbg.at

Draft date

26/12/2008
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