Dalia Itzik .
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
As mothers marched with strollers in Tel Aviv to protest the price of raising
children, MK Dalia Itzik (Kadima) proposed a bill on Thursday that would provide
free education and daycare for children up to age five.
RELATED:Parents march in TA to protest rising cost of raising kids
In presenting the
legislation, which is also sponsored by MK Haim Katz (Likud), chairman of the
Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, Itzik said the price of
state-subsidized daycare is NIS 2,300 per month, and private daycare centers
cost NIS 4,000 or more, and the number of spaces in subsidized centers is
Itzik wrote: “The high price of daycare is such that many young
parents, and especially young mothers, have to leave their jobs to stay home and
raise their children. This situation raises poverty rates, harms women’s
integration in the workplace, and is a central factor in wearing out the middle
Itzik said after submitting the bill: “This is a law that will
set mothers free. It doesn’t pay for them to go to work (as things are now). It
cannot be that the daycare tuition is higher than the price of an academic
degree in the most expensive colleges in Israel.”
MK Tzipi Hotovely
(Likud), chairwoman of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, said she
would promote the bill, and called an emergency meeting.
protest is justified, and the State of Israel has to understand that without
free education for toddlers, mothers cannot join the workforce,” Hotovely said.
“The fight for free education for children under the age of five will become the
flagship battle of the Committee on the Status of Women.”
It is unlikely
that the bill will be brought to a vote in the coming months, as the Knesset’s
summer recess begins on August 7.