CHILDREN IN PRESCHOOL. Committee chairman Eli Alalouf says early identification of developmental problems will assist in the children’s education, well-being and economic status.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
The Knesset Committee for Labor, Welfare and Health unanimously passed a bill on Monday that will establish a national council for early childhood matters.
The council, which will report to the education minister, is responsible for developing a plan for the treatment of preschool children and define the most important issues facing early childhood education.
“This law will ensure proper conditions and an appropriate therapeutic- educational environment for children,” said committee chairman Eli Alalouf (Kulanu). “Early identification of developmental problems and guidance of professionals will assist in educating them, their well-being and in the future their economic situation as well.”
The council will also connect various parties in the early childhood field to improve the detection of children at risk and of delays in development of infants and toddlers.
“The time has come for the systems to correspond with each other and not to act in isolation,” MK Yifat Shasha- Biton (Kulanu) said.
Shasha-Biton, who is the chair of the Special Committee for the Rights of Children, said the council was a “necessity for the future of our children.”
The bill was introduced by Alalouf and Shasha-Biton, along with MKs Manuel Trajtenberg (Zionist Union), Orly Levy-Abecassis (independent), Ya’acov Margi (Shas) and David Amsalem (Likud), and received support across the political spectrum.
MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union) attempted to politicize the bill, lambasting it for being under the control of two ministries, Education and Labor and Social Services.
“This will castrate and silence the committee. Do not let little politics spoil the great mission,” he said. “The responsibility must be transferred to only one [ministry], the Education Ministry.”
Broshi’s complaints were supported by Bar-Ilan University Prof. Ofra Korat and Dr. Tamar Erez of the Israel Association for Early Childhood. Trajtenberg responded to his fellow faction member, saying the council will be headed by the education minister with a deputy appointed by the Labor and Social Services Ministry.
The committee denied attorney Sigal Mardar-Abergil’s request for the labor and social services minister to head the council along with the education minister.
“I am surprised that we are still delaying the approval of the law because of a territorial dispute that has nothing to do with the matter,” Trajtenberg said. “I will not lend a hand to legislation that creates distortion and no solution.”