Welcome to The Cradle, Uganda’s first 24-hour childcare & lactation Centre designed for the workplace.
The vision of The Cradle is a Uganda where women are free to maximize and explore their full potential and still be able to enjoy motherhood by creating safe and easily accessible spaces for childcare and lactation. These spaces allow for women to be fully engaged in pursuing their careers, playing an active role in our country’s governance, economic and democratic processes and influencing the direction of our country without having to make the difficult choice to sacrifice one at the expense of the other.
Uganda has one of the youngest fast-growing populations in the World with 63% of her female workforce of childbearing age. With a fertility rate among the highest at 5.8 children per woman. 63% of women give birth by age 20 years; the average working age commencement. It is predicted in the next 5 years the biggest percentage of Uganda’s working force; women will be of childbearing age. Sadly, 13.4% of these women will most likely face workplace gender disparity in their work life caused by absenteeism due to domestic and childcare requirements.
Furthermore, in the last decade, Uganda has experienced a drastic change in the dynamics of living and working in Uganda. There are more dual-income families due to an increased standard of living. Young adults are pursuing further study to accomplish their career goals and work extra hours and days for financial stability. There is also an increased number of single mother households where cases of child neglect by fathers and failure to offer financial support every year.
Unfortunately, mothers are forced to leave their children with inexperienced, uneducated house-helps, relatives or friends, exposing them to child abuse, violation of their rights, child trafficking and sexual harassment; Mothers are finding it increasingly difficult to focus on their jobs and sometimes opt to leave completely.
Currently, 37% and 29% of the public and private sector of employees are women respectively; a low representation explained by demands attributed to reproductive activities. The Gender and Productivity Survey: Analytical Report Uganda, 2014, states that the presence of young children in the household aged between 0 and 5 years reduces employed women’s productivity by 40% and 79% for full time employed women and self-employed women respectively.
Therefore, employers are faced with the challenge of the recruitment of a productive workforce; with the increased number of women in the workforce of childbearing age, their childcare responsibilities have affected their productivity, increasing staff turnover and absenteeism; a cost to the employer. If policymakers, Government and the private sector do not recognize the time constraints faced by women and design social protection programs for child nurturing activities, the participation of women in the workforce will be reduced even further.
In an aim to provide a solution to this problem, The Cradle opened in June 2014 and since then impacted at least 500 middle class working families in Kampala, who work near or within the central business district. The Cradle serves to benefit employers; parents and their children through the provision of spaces located at workplace premises (onsite), near workplaces (near site) and in residential areas (offsite) around the country, and in all the major districts of Uganda. These spaces are provided to employers at a subsidized cost which the employer then gives to the employee at either full, subsidized or no cost at all as an employee benefit.
Our programs are designed to cater to the developmental needs of children subdivided into four age groups; 0-12 months, 13- 24 months, 25- 36 months and 37- 48 months and so we developed Uganda’s first indigenous 4-part infant play curriculum using child brain stimulation techniques to get our children thinking critically, creatively and to solve problems innovatively preparing them for school and for the competitive World they will live in.
We hope that you will challenge your workplace to subscribe to our services so your children can be enrolled either at our offsite centres or onsite at your workplace and allow us to share the responsibility of raising your child with you because your dreams matter and we can promise that “We’re There When You Can’t Be”