l The childcare center is a part of POSCO’s solution about the issue of low birth rate, which is one of the six major Corporate Citizenship projects
l The proportion of children of partner company employees reaches more than 50%, including 47 partner companies in Pohang and 51 partner companies in Gwangyang
l The spaces of POSCO childcare centers are designed in a nature-friendly feature for children’s creativity
POSCO has established “workplace childcare centers” to create a work-family balance environment and resolve the low birth rate issue.
Initially, the childcare centers were scheduled to open in March, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 issue. The centers were open last June following the guidelines of each local government in Pohang and Gwangyang.
POSCO has already been operating two childcare centers for the children of POSCO employees in Pohang and Gwangyang. However, in April last year, the company signed an MOU with the Korea Workers’ Compensation & Welfare Service (COMWEL) to establish the childcare center available for children of employees at POSCO, group, and partner companies. The action was an implementation of POSCO management philosophy, Corporate Citizenship: Building a Better Future Together.
Respective companies can participate in the “POSCO childcare center” consortium, and a total of 12 group companies and 47 partner companies (SMEs) in Pohang and 11 group companies and 51 partner companies (SMEs) in Gwangyang applied. Among the total number of children enrolled in the childcare center, the proportion of partner companies’ children amounts to over 50%, showing an exemplary case of win-win cooperation between a large company and SME.
POSCO childcare centers are equipped with the best environment infrastructure in Korea. They are constructed on idle sites of Pohang and Gwangyang Works as steel-structured buildings on a total area of around 2,479 m². A nature-friendly theme was applied, creating a new space concept that is comfortable and pleasant for both the children and the teachers.
Built next to POSCO’s headquarters in Pohang, POSCO Dongchon Childcare Center is equipped with a two-story-high indoor garden that provides children with a sense of nature as well as nurture their creativity. Since the center has a skylight, the blue sky is visible indoors, and sunlight fills all parts of the entire space. Tropical fruit plants are planted in the indoor garden, creating a place for a natural learning experience. An open library is arranged to offer children with the joy of reading, and a running track to enable physical activities.
POSCO Geumdang Childcare Center in Gwangyang is designed to allow children to play freely with a forest playground using trees and a rooftop playground. A responsive digital motion wall is installed to create a play environment that stimulates children’s curiosity and arouses their interests. The activity room located southward has a window tailored to meet the children’s eye level. Through the window, children are able to see the change of seasons directly and connect with nature. As for the exterior, PosMAC, a bright and warm color steel material, was used, considering the color of the surrounding housing complex and the overall harmony.
Won-Sil Choi, director of POSCO Dongchon Childcare Center, said, ”Dongchon Childcare Center is the first in Korea to be designed with an indoor garden as the main feature. It will be created into a fun childcare center where children, their parents, and teachers are all happy. The center will pay attention to the basics, including safety, health, and hygiene.”
In addition to the existing childcare center, POSCO established a second childcare center in March at the POSCO Center, Seoul. Since July, POSCO has also been implementing working from home system for child care, which prevents career breaks of employees as well as encourages childbirth.