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A day care center and pre-school was opened recently for the children of workers employed at the factories in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone (KEPZ). This project was initiated by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka along with the Manufacturers’ Association of the KEPZ.

The day care center which is located at Phase II of the Export Processing Zone was ceremonially opened recently.

This day care center is very significant as it provides considerable assistance to skilled female workers who found it difficult in the past to work and bring up their children at the same time. Many well trained employees were forced to stop working due to this problem. BOI enterprises will also benefit as they faced a problem of finding suitable candidates to fill vacancies at the Zone. Hence this action taken by the BOI and Manufacturers’ Association addresses an important requirement of workers and also the enterprises at the KEPZ.

Fazal Abdeen, President of the KEPZ Manufacturers’ Association said that this proposal had been discussed for some time as it would help build the image of Sri Lanka’s zones, provide assistance to workers and also ensure employee retention by the KEPZ enterprises. However, Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman BOI had initiated steps to immediately start the day care center at the zone. At the initial stage, the day care center will accommodate a total of 50 children between the age group of 2 and 5 years. This intake will be increased as per the demand.

The facility will be provided with frequent visits by doctors to take care of the health requirements of the children. The center will also have educational and recreational facilities. BOI and the enterprises will monitor the center to ensure high standards of service.

A large number of Human Resources Managers of the companies, KEPZ workers, officials from the KEPZ Manufacturing Association and the BOI attended this function. Fazal Abdeen, President of the KEPZ Manufacturers’ Association, Upatissa Sirigampola, Executive Director of BOI, MR M K D Lawrance, Director KEPZ and Ms Rose Fernando, Member of Pradesheeya Saba addressed the gathering.

Arrangements are being made by BOI to establish additional day care centers in the other Export Processing Zones in the near future.