MK Itzik presents free daycare bill

As mothers march with strollers in TA, Likud MK notes price of state-subsidized daycare NIS 2,300, private centers NIS 4,000 or more.

Dalia Itzik  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
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.
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 limited.
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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 classes.”
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.
“The mothers’ 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.