Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority Launches Its Parent-friendly Label Program for a Third Cycle

  • The application window is open from February 27 to September 2, 2024
  • Organizations in the private sector, semi-government and third sector are eligible to apply to earn the Parent-friendly Label.
  • It is free to apply and every applicant, regardless of the outcome, receives a feedback report with areas of strength and areas of improvement.

Abu Dhabi, February 26 2024

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), in line with the UAE leadership’s vision and its commitment to early childhood development, has launched its Parent-friendly Label program for a third cycle and is now accepting applications for organizations to earn the Label.

The program, which first launched in 2021, invites semi-government, private, and third-sector organizations, who have been operating for at least two years in the UAE, to apply to earn the Parent-friendly Label. The Parent-friendly Label provides a range of 19 criteria that organizations can adopt in order to be recognized and awarded for their parent-friendly policies, practice and culture. Supporting parents of young children in the workplace enables them to flourish at work and at home, which in turn results in positive outcomes for the child and society.

Her Excellency Sana Mohamed Suhail, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), explained the focus of the program is on supporting the UAE’s workplaces on their journey towards becoming more parent-friendly, which in turn benefits working parents and their children.

“The Parent-friendly Label program aims to encourage more parent-friendly workplaces, which are those that support working parents, understand family needs, actively welcome back new parents, offer sufficient parental leave and breastfeeding hours and offer a work culture aligned with this,” she said. “These workplaces have a role in ensuring that all children have access to the best opportunities for care and development. This commitment extends to providing suitable services and resources for parents, children, and caregivers to ensure optimal child development.”

Her Excellency emphasized that this third cycle aims to build on the success of previous cycles, which benefited applicants, working parents and their children as well as society at large. Furthermore, there has been a notable increase in the number of applicants to earn the Label and the level of interest from the private sector has grown, she added.

Last cycle, 75 organizations from 23 industries applied to earn the Label. Educational institutions constituted the highest percentage of applicants at 19 per cent, followed by professional services institutions at 15 per cent, and financial institutions and banks at eight per cent. Cycle 2 has had a positive impact on the lives of more than 127,000 employees (of whom 67,000 are parents), 48,000 children aged between zero and eight, including approximately 1,500 children with determination.

Running from February 27 to September 2, 2024, interested organizations can apply, for free, based on the criteria of the Parent-friendly Label program. Organizations can be recognized on one of two tiers of achievement – the first tier (PFL) is for workplaces that exceed local requirements and standards, while the second tier (PFL+) is for workplaces that meet or exceed leading global practices. The Label is valid for two years, with a check-in with the organization after the first year. All applicants undergo an impartial evaluation by an independent judging panel, made up of senior leaders from each of the emirates.

During the award program’s second cycle, several organizations were inspired to reassess the challenges faced by working parents, fostering a transformative shift in the workplace culture.

In the upcoming weeks, the ECA will spotlight the organizations that have earned the Label through the implementation of supportive policies and innovative practices.

A series of educational webinars will be held on March 5 and 26, April 23, May 21, and June 18, 2024, to raise awareness about the application process, the criteria and the benefits of applying.

For additional details about the program or to apply today, contact the Abu Dhabi Government Call Center at 800555 or visit eca.gov.ae/parent-friendly-home to submit an application form.

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