Protesters demand better daycare conditions.
(photo credit: LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI)
Parents breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday as a strike set for the following day that would have left tens of thousands of children aged zero-three without daycare was postponed.
On Wednesday the working committees of seven organizations, including Na’amat and the Women’s International Zionist Organization, which run daycare centers nationwide, called off the strike following a meeting with Labor and Social Services Minister Haim Katz.
Last week the organizations announced their intent to go on strike until their demand for an additional caregiver for every class was met.
Katz, According to a statement from his ministry, said that he “recognizes the need for the proper improvement of the daycare centers, and asked the organizations to delay the planned strike for two weeks in order to try to reach understandings with the Finance Ministry and prevent harm to parents and toddlers.”
The minister called on the Finance Ministry to allocate a budget to address the daycare centers’ needs.
“The time has come for the Treasury to overcome the standards for improving the quality of child care,” Katz said.
The organizations wrote in a joint statement last week: “The daycare industry suffers from a severe shortage of workers due to the difficult working conditions, and especially inappropriate budgets that do not allow us to provide a suitable solution for babies and toddlers – your children.”
They noted that preschool classes for children aged three to four, under the authority of the Education Ministry, were provided an additional caregiver per class.
The NGOs, which are under the supervision of the Labor and Social Services Ministry, said that they had been asking and negotiating with the ministry for the same thing for two years, to no avail.
“We hope that the government will succeed in taking responsibility for the future of early childhood education immediately and prevent any harm to parents and their children,” the organizations wrote.