Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
MK Avigdor Liberman called on Sunday for full government funding of afternoon programs, to run until 5 p.m., for children from the age of six months to the age of six.
“Every day around 1 p.m. many parents are preoccupied with the question: Who will pick up the child from preschool today? And who will stay at home with him until I get back from work?” Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) wrote in a message posted on his Facebook page.
Liberman estimated the cost of implementing such a plan at around NIS 7 billion per year, which he said was “not a large amount” considering the state budget stands at around NIS 350b.
“Such a move would encourage employment and will increase the number of couples that would be able to work fulltime, rather than part-time, jobs, will help the economic situation of the young couples who spend thousands of shekels a month on private kindergartens or after-school programs and will also put an end to the fact that every afternoon little children are placed in...
arrangements without an organized hot meal, and without taking advantage of the long afternoon hours for enrichment activities or programs that contribute to early childhood development,” he wrote.
He further said such a plan could be implemented within two to three years.
He challenged Israelis to question whether they prefer a state that helps only the underprivileged or one that also helps the middle class, who work, serve in the IDF, pay taxes, and contribute to their country.
“The security of the state consists not only of planes, tanks and missile boats, but mainly of national strength...based primarily on the feeling of citizens that the country treats [them] fairly and responsibly,” he wrote.