Why employers in Lebanon must become more parent-friendly

Work… we love it. OK, OK, sometimes we hate it (though not at Team Jaleesa, of course). But it’s an essential part of life for most parents, both moms and dads.

Many customers at Jaleesa reach out to us when they have to return to work after maternity leave. Lebanese law doesn’t give generous leave, so we have many moms with three month-old babies who can barely imagine leaving their new baby for eight hours a day. We’re happy that we can help make that experience more pleasant for both moms, dads and babies, by connecting them with a trained and trusted nanny.

But that wrenching moment is just the first in many challenges that working parents face.

And awareness is finally growing about how important it is to support parents in the workplace. The World Economic Forum says that if women participated equally in the global economy, GDP growth would increase by $28 trillion by 2025. And issues with child care are the single biggest barrier to returning to work for moms (according to a survey by Momsnet, reported in The Guardian).

It’s not just a macro-economic issue. Companies across Lebanon are staffed by parents at all levels. And those parents don’t stop being parents when they go to work.

We’ve been working with the HR department of a major Lebanese company, who told us 55% of their 3,000 employees are parents. If they each take the global average of six sick days a year to look after kids, the company is leaking over $850,000 in lost productivity. Can the company, or the Lebanese economy, afford that?

Major challenges for Lebanese companies

And that’s not all. If a company doesn’t have the right parental package, it can face other major challenges, like:

  • Productivity: imagine trying to focus on work while worrying about the cost or quality of child care, or watching the clock because you have to rush off at 3:30 to pick up the kids. Employees who are satisfied with their work-life balance work 21% harder, according to a survey of over 50,000 companies.
  • Recruitment: not being able to attract top talent because the package isn’t adapted for modern family-work life.
  • Retention: 83% of millennials say they would leave their job for one with a better family care package. And every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that’s $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses (source).

Turning a problem into an opportunity

On the plus side, when employers have a positive approach towards employing and retaining parents, they can realise gains like:

  • Gender Parity: creating a work environment where women can succeed. If you were ever in any doubt about women’s value in the workplace, check this article full of killer statistics.
  • A Diverse Labor Force: access to a wider pool of men and women
  • A Skilled Labor Force: access to a wider pool of skill sets and competencies
  • High Employee Retention: minimizing the high cost of turnovers

So how can employers in Lebanon turn the problems into opportunities? That’s the billion-dollar question for companies and the Lebanese economy. We’re working with some top companies currently to work out the answer. And YOU can help us get there:

  • Working parents, let us know what you need and want from your employer, by emailing lara@jaleesa.co or sending us a Facebook message.
  • Employers, if you would like to make your business a top performer with happy staff, contact our Partnerships Director, Lara Ghibril. Email her now at lara@jaleesa.co.

… and finally – if you need child care NOW, sign up to our site. In five minutes you could be chatting with qualified nannies near you.

Source: jaleesa blog

Jaleesa’s superhero babysitters come to the Smallville Hotel

Here’s our press release announcing an exciting new partnership with the Smallville Hotel in Badaro!



Jaleesa, Lebanon’s trusted child care platform, and the Smallville Hotel will be working together to bring great babysitting to visitors in Lebanon.


Smallville is named after the ‘small city’ that is Beirut, and is an urban design hotel in Badaro, designed to be the perfect reflection of the ideal city we dream of. At the hotel, everyone is a superhero in his or her own way. In January 2018 the team won the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice award for being ranked in the top 1% of hotels.


Now families’ stay at Smallville just got a bit more super! With Jaleesa’s award winning child care, guests can book babysitting around the clock. Kids can have fun with trusted, trained babysitters, and parents can relax and experience the city, or focus on work.

 Photo: (left to right) Jaleesa co-founder Hassan Bayloun, Smallville Hotel Head of Guest Relations Ibrahim Badran, and Jaleesa Partnerships Director Lara Ghibril, with the partnership document

Photo: (left to right) Jaleesa co-founder Hassan Bayloun, Smallville Hotel Head of Guest Relations Ibrahim Badran, and Jaleesa Partnerships Director Lara Ghibril, with the partnership document

Angela Solomon, CEO of Jaleesa, said:


“We’re so happy to be working with Smallville. Their fun, high quality and innovative approach matches perfectly with Jaleesa’s values of excellence, trust and nurturing kids’ development. With a troupe of specially selected Jaleesa babysitters, we know that guests will have a wonderful stay knowing their kids are in safe, trusted hands.”


The Smallville team said: “We strive to provide our guests with the best emotional and unique experience while staying at The Smallville, coupled with our Just Ask personalized services. Jaleesa, with its trusted and quality child care, is a great complement to what we aim to offer for our guests’ needs.”


 More information:

Source: jaleesa blog

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan kareem from the Jaleesa family to yours!

Whether your family observes Ramadan or not, this can still be a spiritual time for kids and family. Ramadan’s not just a month of fasting, it’s also about spiritual reflection, doing good deeds, and spending time with family and friends. Whatever your faith, here are some ideas for bringing the spirit of Ramadan into family life this month.

I’ve been back in Lebanon for six years and every year, Ramadan has been in the heat of summer. My family isn’t Muslim, and it always amazed me how my friends and coworkers have found the strength to fast all day. But thanks to their incredible patience, they have taught me a lot about the spiritual experience of Ramadan.

Out and about in Beirut

Lebtivity has details of great iftars and events around town. If bedtime permits, the kids can vent some energy with a stroll along the Corniche afterwards – take the bikes and scooters of course 😉

Older kids might enjoy a more hands-on foodie experience at the KitchenLab Iftar + Cooking class, for friends and family.

Ramadan at home

Your kids might be curious about what Ramadan really is. This video for kids (in English) can help explain. And educational books like Magid Fasts For Ramadan can help kids reflect on the values we share.

Online resources like this one have tips for parents to make Ramadan enjoyable for your children, and boost their energy if you or they are fasting. Ideas like keeping a Ramadan journal and decorating the house together for Eid can be fun for families of all faiths and help build kids’ understanding of the communities we live in.

These tips for healthy eating in Ramadan are great for all as well – a perfect excuse to widen the kids’ taste with treats like coconut water. And whether you are fasting or not, it’s a good moment to check in on whether you’re all getting a balanced diet with plenty of protein.

How to handle the cooking and the kids…

If you need an extra pair of hands at home this Ramadan, let Jaleesa take care of the kids while you focus on other things. Within five minutes you can be chatting online with experienced babysitters in your area – sign up here to get started.

Ramadan mubarak! Wishing all the Jaleesa community a month of peace and happiness.

:) Ramadan wishes

Source: jaleesa blog

7 ways Beirut moms handle being pregnant at work

Will and I are expecting our first baby in two months. We are super excited to meet our magic little bean!

I still have lots of energy and am working full time. But I feel busier than ever at a time when I want to stay calm and relaxed and rested.

I wondered how other moms have managed. So we asked parents for their tips. 

Together we came up with seven tips for managing pregnancy and a busy job.

Good luck and solidarity to all the pregnant mammas out there!

Tip #1: Delegate. More. Even more than you do.

“People seem to like helping pregnant women, so let them. And if that’s not possible at work, get them to help with other stuff – making food, doing the shopping (try Spinneys delivery – not perfect but helps), carrying stuff, any other tasks…”

Tip #2: Stop doing stuff. Seriously.

“At 30 weeks you just can’t do what you used to do (like putting your own shoes on?? Or do you have that joy to come?!) So decide ruthlessly what’s important and what’s not right now (or ever!).”

“Don’t pretend things are fine when they’re not. When I ignored my body telling me to slow down, I just started feeling sick. If you need a rest, take a rest.”

Tip #3: Stop running around.

“Get friends and family to come to you, rather than the other way around.”

Tip #4: Multitask.

“You’ll learn to be an even more amazing multitasker as a mother (I’m bfing mine while typing this!) so get in some practice now – can you plan your week while doing exercise? Can you do exercises while on a work call (given exercise now is low impact stuff)? Can you make work calls while on the move (as walking is slower now)?”

Tip #5. Get decent sleep (and stay hydrated)

“I remember when I was pregnant and working, I would make sure to go to sleep early at night and take naps on the weekends because I felt exhausted all the time. Also, drinking a lot of water helped me feel good (even though it meant lots more trips to the bathroom).”

“You and your baby need good sleep. And it may not be as easy now. So prioritise it. More rest will make you more efficient at work.”

I wish I had known that I will have many sleepless nights 😬

“The nights are long but the days are short…”

Tip #6. Slow down. Maybe even reprioritise.

“Maybe it’s time to change how much you do. I was advised by good friends to take two whole weeks off before the birth and to “wind down” at least two weeks before that (so around 35/36 weeks). That may sound like a luxury, but does it have to be? Could you renegotiate your terms/ hand over responsibility to someone else? If you can do it when the baby’s here, can you do it (at least partly) now??”

Tip #7: Destress and relax.

“Maternity yoga benefited me with baby number 1. And also loads and loads of music and crazy dancing when no one is around, to vent your day of work.”

How did you manage pregnancy and a busy life? Add your comments below or message us on Facebook. 🙂 More power to the mommas!

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Source: jaleesa blog