The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) has launched the second cycle of the Parent-friendly Label (PFL) programme.
The programme allows organisations operating in the country within the semi-governmental, private and third sectors, to be recognised for their commitment to a supportive work culture and policies for employees who are parents of children ages 0-8 years old.
H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, Chairman of ECA, said that the UAE is steadily moving towards a more sustainable, growth-driven future in all walks of life, investing in early childhood care opportunities and enabling parents to contribute to building conscious and responsible generations that achieve harmony in line with the priorities of the country's wise leadership.
He emphasised that as a voluntary workplace award programme, PFL reflects the leadership’s keenness to achieve a balance between work, family and childcare for young children in their early years.
“Achieving this balance provides a social tool with a major and vital role in providing a positive environment that is supportive for children and compassionate towards parents’ needs," he added.
Sheikh Theyab explained that the programme encourages and supports UAE-based organisations in the semi-government, private, and third sectors to work toward the goals of the UAE's early childhood development sector and the country's overall growth.
For her part, Sana Mohammed Suhail, Director-General of ECA, commented, "Through this ambitious national programme, we are targeting as many organisations as possible to help parents achieve a balance between work, family and childcare in their early years and contribute to enhancing their participation in supporting the early childhood development process.
“We hope that employers across the country take the initiative and apply to earn the Label and play their part in contributing to building a prosperous future for organisations and society on a larger scale,” she added.
The programme provides a set of standards that employers can apply within their internal culture and adapt to provide a supportive work environment for parents. The Parent-friendly Label criteria were updated to reflect the most recent amendments to the UAE Labor Law.
All organisations that adopt policies that support parents can apply to earn the Parent-friendly Label in its new cycle. Applicants can either earn PFL (level 1), which challenges them to go above and beyond what the law requires, or PFL+ (level 2), which meets or exceeds global best practices.
The Label is valid for two years, with an annual check-in after one year.