Two girls play.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
A bill to establish oversight of private day care centers for ages 0-3 has passed another hurdle this week as it was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.
The bill was initiated by chairwoman of the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu), and Knesset Education, Sports and Culture Committee chairman MK Ya’acov Margi (Shas).
Shasha-Biton and Margi called the bill a “historic breakthrough in a field that has so far been abandoned.”
The two MKs further called on the state to finally take responsibility for all children until the age of three.
To date, there is no oversight over private day care centers so that anyone who wants to open a center can do so without a license, without any regulated standards of safety, or any form of supervision.
In contrast, public day care centers, accounting for frameworks for roughly a fourth of children in this age group, are under the authority of the labor and social services ministry which provides oversight and enforcement.
The legislation will establish conditions for the granting of a license to operate day care centers for toddlers and will further bring the private centers under the authority of labor and social services ministry.
As such, the new bill would authorize the Labor and Social Affairs Minister to establish regulations regarding the requirements of education, training and experience for staff members.
The proposal also details the conditions for the physical environment required in the day care center in terms of safety and sanitation and deals with the standardization of personnel and programs of care and education in these institutions.
The bill has been hailed as a “historic breakthrough” as child rights’ organization welcomed the legislation.
“The bill to oversee day care centers is a message to thousands of toddlers who can enjoy safe and supervised educational frameworks,” said Vered Vindman, director-general of the National Council for the Child. “The era when anyone can open a day care center without a permit and without supervision is over.”
The bill is scheduled to go up for a vote in the Knesset plenum.