News | Sunday, 09 August 2009
Childcare services in Malta “are extremely limited and virtually non-existent”, according to a review of 30 European countries by the European Commission’s directorate-general for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities.
The report ‘The Provision of Childcare Services’ says Malta still lacks the legal framework to regulate childcare centres.
Referring directly to the Maltese government’s attitude towards childcare facilities, the report notes that “there have been several statements from governments over the years about what they see as the crucial importance of national childcare for the well-being of children and gender equality, in particular.
“However, to date there has not been an attempt to discuss or design a national policy for childcare services.”
The Ministry for Social Policy declined to comment on the report, despite questions repeatedly sent by MaltaToday during the past month.
Commenting on the Commission’s report, Alternattiva Demokratika’s spokesperson for social and economic development Michael Briguglio referred to the contrast between the government’s pro-family rhetoric and its opposition to reinforcing family-friendly measures.
“The absence of affordable childcare works against having more women in employment, and actually increases stress on parents of young children such as single parents, who are not encouraged to work due to the unavailability of such childcare centres.”
Provision of childcare report
http://ec.europa.eu/social Searchkey: What’s New > 1 July 2009