Government to push for creches

AN expert from Singapore will be brought in next month by the Government to sell the idea of work-based child care centres to senior management at major employers.

''Senior management must get involved because this type of centre is employer-sponsored and set up for the use of employees. Overseas experience has shown the centres have improved staff morale, reduced staff turnover and attracted more people to the companies,'' Mr Ian Strachan, director of Social Welfare said yesterday.

Speaking at the opening of the Po Leung Kuk Kwai Fong Nursery, he said the concept of work-based child care centres was not new, but so far, the Hongkong Bank was the lone pioneer.

''Considering it's been two years since the bank opened its centre, it is a reasonable assumption that employers are not that keen, mainly, we think, because space is at a premium.

''We must spread the message that these work-based centres are a good thing and that the industrial sector can use the district boards to help them find space,'' he said.

The Government has followed the bank's lead and staff at the Secretariat have filled in more than 200 questionnaires to gauge demand for child car facilities.

The Social Welfare Department will hold a seminar next month for representatives of the industrial and commercial sectors.