Daycare services are important for a country’s economic growth and development. Inadequate childcare not only affects women’s ability to participate in the workforce and improve their livelihoods, but it can also impact firm productivity and growth through workplace absenteeism and turnover, as well as reduced employee commitment and productivity.
The Ethiopian Government urges employers to establish daycare centres for their employees. However, there is an insufficient supply of properly trained nannies. Few training institutes provide professional nanny training and programmes that do exist tend to be of poor quality. Most nannies are therefore inexperienced or trained in unrelated professions, resulting in low quality services.
The underdeveloped professional nanny industry has led to the perception that being a nanny is not a professional job option, as well as in limited demand from employers for nannies with professional training and certification.
Through an analysis of the skills and labour market systems in Addis Ababa, LIWAY recognised the importance of the daycare service sector to not only enable women to effectively participate in the workforce, but also to provide employment opportunities as professional nannies for poor women and youth. To help develop the sector and increase opportunities for its target group, LIWAY partnered with Nave Hotel and Tourism College to pilot a market-based intervention called ‘Professional Nannies Training for Quality Daycare Services’ (PN4QDS).
Established in 2008, Nave Hotel and Tourism College is a private higher institution located in Addis Ababa providing training in fields such as bakery, daycare, domestic work, food preparation, guest reception, and hotel management. The College recognised the importance of daycare services for the development of Ethiopia and had ambitious plans to be a centre of excellence and a Certificate of Competency (CoC) centre for professional nanny training. However, they had concerns that current perceptions would result in limited registration and market demand. In addition, their curriculum development for nanny training was poor and they lacked relationships with key stakeholders to share experiences, understand requirements, and link trainees to job opportunities.
LIWAY’s intervention addresses the constraints through the development of improved training materials in consultation with key stakeholders such as childcare service providers, as well as development of linkages with potential employers. Technical, legal, and supervision support is also included, and was provided by The Addis Ababa Bureau of Women and Children Affairs (BoWCA). BoWCA also assisted with identification and selection of target groups and linkages with potential employers. LIWAY identified the partners and coordinated engagement, as well as shared initial costs for the pilot to test the model and provided technical assistance for curriculum development.
To date 1,250 women have received improved quality nanny training through Nave Hotel and Tourism College. They have not only benefitted from development of professional skills, but also through increased job opportunities and incomes. Of the 1,250 women trained, 912 were linked with jobs and began earning an average monthly salary of 2,476 ETB.
Due to improvements through the intervention, the College has been able to achieve its objectives to become a centre of excellence and CoC centre for nanny training and quality examination of nanny training services, which is seen as an important step for the development of the sector. As the CoC head from Nefas Silk Lafto sub-city explains, “The only CoC centre in nanny training is Nave Hotel and Tourism College, which is the ice breaker to ensure the quality of professional nannies in Addis Ababa. Moreover, it is a springboard for Addis Ababa City CoC as a centre of excellence for nanny training in general and particularly for Nefas Silk Lafto sub-city CoC office.”
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“Before I enrolled in the nanny training, I used to rely on my family with my two children for more than five years. Now, thanks to LIWAY, Nave Hotel and Tourism College, and Nifas Silk Lafto sub-city administration, I am able to earn 3,000 ETB per month and support my family. My children are also getting access to education.” (Mignot, trainee)
The General Manager of Nave Hotel and Tourism College, Mr. Eshetu Shifera, expressed that much has been learned during the one-year intervention pilot, which includes the adoption of the child rights curriculum as a basic course and improved interaction with the stakeholder community. As a result, more private daycare centres and public organisations are now seeking professional nannies to provide higher quality childcare services. In order to meet the growing demand and continue to develop an improved daycare services sector, the College plans to build on the success of the pilot by replicating the model in other sub-cities and regions.
Overall, the intervention has demonstrated that it is possible to create employment for women and youth by improving skills training products for an emerging sector like daycare services. With the replication of the model in other locations, a greater number of women and youth will gain professional skills and increase their incomes through employment as professional nannies.