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Tackling childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare in Myanmar

International Finance Corporation World Bank Group Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality


Asia Pacific Myanmar


Influencing Gender Norms Workplace Gender Equality

Maternity leave Parental leave Paternity leave childcare report family-friendly policies

Tackling childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare in Myanmar

Tackling childcare: The business case for employer-supported childcare in Myanmar

Myanmar’s business landscape is in transition. Business and human resource practices have improved despite many challenges. And while women’s labour participation has increased, women—particularly mothers—continue to be restricted by childcare responsibilities at home. The lack of childcare resources and support often forces women to leave the workforce, or to forego childbirth altogether.

Companies play a major role in making childcare responsibilities of employees more manageable. When employers find ways to help their people in balancing obligations in the workplace and childcare responsibilities, both the company and the employees reap benefits. Productivity increases. Absenteeism and turnover are minimised. There are several ways for a company to provide childcare support, such as paid parental leave, flexible working arrangements, and family-friendly policies—to name a few.

International Finace Corporation’s TACKLING CHILDCARE: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare in Myanmar presents an assessment of the currently available childcare arrangements in Myanmar, the employees responses to these arrangements, and how childcare responsibilities affect the employees’ ability to come to work on time, get the job done, realise their full potential, and stay employed. It hopes to establish a clear picture of the impact of childcare responsibilities on the employees in Myanmar’s private sector.

Key Findings

  • Childcare responsibilities have an impact on the work of 9 in 10 employees.
  • More than half of parents with preschool-age children reported being absent from work for at least one day during the past month because of their childcare responsibilities.
  • Childcare responsibilities affect both working fathers and mothers. There is no significant difference between the rate of mothers (89%) and the rate of fathers (91%).
  • Failure to address the childcare needs of employees have a negative impact on the performance of Myanmar businesses. For example, lack of employer-supported childcare is affecting employee retention and turnover. Approximately 20% of employees said they and/or their partner had left a previous job because of childcare responsibilities.
  • 37% of parents with preschool children do not use a childcare centre because such a facility is unavailable near their homes.
  • A significant proportion of female and male employees in the private sector are delaying having children so that they can continue their career.
  • Women are still pressured to exit the workforce after having children. The pressure comes from family members, peers and work colleagues. In Myanmar society, the belief that the primary role of women is to have and look after children is deeply embedded.
  • Myanmar businesses have begun to realise the benefits of employer-supported childcare. Some of the businesses that participated in this study have started implementing innovative and progressive solutions.
  • Employees cited a clear and consistent policy for flexible working as the number one benefit that would help working parents better manage their childcare responsibilities.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Study Methodology
    • Limitations
  • Impacts of Childcare Responsibilities on Employees
    • Findings
  • The Legal Framework for Employers and Childcare in Myanmar
  • Priorities for Action
    • Business Considerations
    • Recommendations for Business
    • Recommendations for Others
  • Conclusion
  • Annex A: The Childcare Landscape in Myanmar


This study was originally published on the IFC website.





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