Fortescue launches childcare program for workers

Fortescue Metals Group has introduced its ‘In Home Childcare’ program in Port Hedland to help families balance work and caring responsibilities.

The childcare program, facilitated by YMCA, consists of a pool of self-employed early childhood educators who will provide in-home care for up to five children living in the same home.

Fortescue has committed to supporting two years of recruitment, training and support costs for 20 early childhood educators who will be exclusively available to Fortescue staff’s families.

Company chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the program highlights Fortescue’s focus on work-life balance and diversity.

“Family is at the heart of Fortescue and integral to our unique, differentiated culture. With this in mind, we are focused on implementing policies such as childcare that help families balance work and family responsibilities, while fostering a workplace culture that truly embraces diversity,” she said.

Gaines said many of Fortescue’s residential families experienced difficulty accessing traditional childcare due to limited availability and standard operating hours not aligning with rosters.

“Not only does this impact an individual’s ability to work as much as they choose, it can limit the opportunity to attract and retain talent and diversity across our business, especially women,” she said.

“By increasing the availability and flexibility of in-home care to our Hedland operations team, we are providing a practical solution that supports women and men balancing work and family responsibilities and helps them reach their full potential.”

The initiative builds on the ‘Fortescue family room’, which was established at the company’s Perth office and has so far facilitated over 3500 stays.