New Airport Preschool Fosters Family-friendly Work Environment
The Airport Preschool was officially opened at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) on 21st March, as the latest initiative of the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) to foster a family-friendly work environment for the airport community.
Located on the ground floor of the Airport World Trade Centre adjacent to Terminal 2, the Airport Preschool is the first corporate-affiliated facility in Hong Kong providing care and early education services for children under the age of three. A total of 46 children of staff from more than 20 companies across the airport community have been admitted in its first year of service. The preschool is managed by Hong Kong Christian Service (HKCS). The AA has invested over HK$5 million for the initial setup of the preschool, and will continue to provide funding support for the operation.
The opening ceremony was officiated by Jack So Chak-kwong, Chairman of the AA; Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, Secretary for Transport and Housing; Stephen Sui Wai-keung, Secretary for Labour and Welfare; Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of the AA; Florence Chung, Executive Director, Human Resources and Administration of the AA and Suen Lai-sang, Director of the HKCS.
Mr So said, “I hope this initiative will allow employees to strike a balance between the need of working and taking care of their families, and attract more people to join the airport community. I also hope that we can serve as a leading role to encourage more sizeable corporations and organisations to set up similar facilities to help female employees, as well as to unleash the working potential of women in Hong Kong.”
Professor Cheung said, “The AA not only spares no efforts in improving the working environment for its staff, but also understands the transportation problems faced by airport staff due to their special working hours. To this end, back in 2012, the AA, together with the Transport Department, public transport operators and most of the business partners in the aviation industry at the HKIA, set up the Airport Transport Liaison Group to review and implement measures from time to time to improve the transportation arrangements of airport staff. Currently, there are about 70 different franchised bus routes (including several overnight routes) plying between various major districts throughout Hong Kong and the airport island (including aircraft maintenance area, cargo area and catering area). On the other hand, to attract more talents to work at the HKIA, the AA established the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy (the Academy) last year with the objective of nurturing talent for the aviation industry and strengthening Hong Kong’s status as a major regional aviation hub. The Academy will launch its first batch of courses next month.”
Mr Sui said, “The establishment of the Airport Preschool demonstrates the AA’s commitment to promoting a family-friendly work place. It is also in line with the government’s policy to unleash potential women work force through enhancing child care services. The government will continue to adopt multi-pronged measures such as increasing subsidised child care places and strengthening the extended hours service as well as encouraging corporations to establish work-based child care centres just like the AA’s.”
The Airport Preschool aims to provide a safe, healthy and warm environment for infants and toddlers. Professionally designed for the needs of young children, the 260-square-metre facility features dedicated areas for playing, learning, eating and nursery care. A specific room has been set up in the preschool to support breastfeeding mothers. It is also the first preschool in Hong Kong to have a stationed nurse.
Emily Chan Yuen-man, Principal of the Airport Preschool said, “We have recruited professional educational and childcare staff to run the preschool. Also, our staff-to-child ratio surpasses the requirements by laws. We hope that the infants and children will have a pleasant and enjoyable time with us.”