The coverage with crèche services for children younger than three in Moldova is under 20%. In the municipality of Chisinau, where there are concentrated most of the employees, this rate is even lower, of only 12%. There are private companies that provide so-called day activities for children, but these are not called crèches and there is no legal framework for them, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Marcel Spatari stated in a press club meeting staged by the Center “Partnership for Development” (CPD), IPN reports.
“The problem is the crèches are today regarded as educational institutions and these must obey norms that are very restrictive for the private sector and for the public sector too. But in the public sector, there is also the problem of insufficient funds for creating public crèches. When I speak about educational standards, I refer to the qualification of the personnel of these crèches, who should be educators. At the same time, the crèches should have by an emergency exit. We set the goal of working out a more flexible, but secure framework for the creation of private mini-crèches or for the regulation of the activity of babysitters at home, including babysitters who look after children at their home,” said Marcel Spatari.
Accoridng to the minister, if the standards are met, the private mini-crèches could be subsidized by the state. The activity of babysitters will be certified as a childcare service. The Ministry designed occupational standards for babysitters.
The National Child Protection Program for 2022-2026 with over 80 activities is being thought up. “We consider there should be a balance between work and family life and equitable distribution of tasks in the family, but we should also focus on the children, on how to look after them and to make sure they do not remain unsupervised,” noted Marcel Spatari.
CPD project coordinator Alina Andronache said that all these activities are part of the steps taken to extend public crèche services. The childcare services have been treated as a priority by the authorities during the past two years.
“When we speak about the reconciliation of work and family life in accordance with the international practices, we speak about the measures that are based on three pillars. The first pillar is the flexibility of the childcare leave so that this is as flexible as possible for each parent and makes fathers want to take childcare and paternity leave. These provisions form part of a bill that was recently introduced into Parliament. The second important pillar is the flexibility of the work program so that the parents are productive and fulfill their official duties without this being detrimental to the family. The services are the third pillar. The first two pillars will never work if we do not have diverse childcare services,” stated Alina Andronache.
The Press Club meeting titled “What do new changes in legislation envision for employed persons with children” was organized by CPD as part of the project “More Opportunities: Gender-Responsive Family Policies for the Private Sector in the Western Balkans and Moldova”. The project is implemented by UNFPA with support from the Austrian Development Agency in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova.