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The number of places for the little ones will increase 70%

14-08-2018

As much as 143 thousand places of care for children can be functioning by the end of 2018. This is an increase of over 70% since 2015. In just 2.5 years, the number of care institutions for children up to three years old in Poland increased 49%, from less than 3 thousand to almost 4.5 thousand institutions.

 

“We’re developing care institutions for children. Thanks to government funding, their number is growing all the time, and the fees borne by the parents are lower. Since 2018, we’ve increased funds for the creation and maintenance of places for children three times, to PLN 450 million a year,” said Elżbieta Rafalska, Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy.

 

In total, the ministry allocated for development of nurseries and children’s clubs as much as PLN 750 million in almost three years (2016-2018). In previous years, PLN 100 million was allocated for this purpose annually, and since 2015 PLN 151 million.

 

Crucial changes were introduced in 2017 with the amendment of the so-called nursery act prepared by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy. It introduced facilitations in setting up and running nurseries and children’s clubs. The requirement to have at least two rooms for children in the nursery has been abolished.

 

The possibility of a greater integration of nurseries and children’s clubs with kindergartens has been introduced. The time which children can spend in children’s clubs has been extended to 10 hours, as is the case in nurseries. Parents gained a greater share in making decisions related to running a nursery or children’s club, as well as making checks of the conditions of stay of children in these facilities.

 

The nutrition standards for children in nurseries have also been introduced. This is a new quality because previous regulations did not regulate the issue of nutrition, only pointing to the obligation to provide food in nurseries and the possibility of hygienic consumption of meals.

 

It did not take long to see the effects. While at the end of 2015, 2990 institutions were functioning, at the end of 2017 their number increased to 4271, i.e. 42 per cent. The number of places for children has also increased – from 83.9 thousand in 2015 to nearly 111.4 thousand at the end of 2017.

 

“The latest data from July shows that there are already 4460 facilities for the little ones in Poland, offering almost 126 thousand places of care. Approx. 16.6% of children between the age of 1 and 3 are covered by care in nurseries, children’s clubs and of a day carer. Taking into account children under the care of nannies, the ‘nursery-coverage’ rate is 17.8%,” says Minister Rafalska.

 

In comparison to 2015, the number of places of care for the youngest children increased 49 per cent. There are already enough places of care for almost 126 thousand children. That is about 42 thousand more than in 2015.

 

Around 67% of communes in Poland still lack nurseries or children’s clubs.

 

“We’re catching up. We must look for new solutions, especially in smaller towns, where the creation of nurseries is simply impossible due to poor infrastructure,” Minister Rafalska explains. The institution of a day carer may be the solution. “The changes that we’ve introduced make it easier to create the institution of a day carer. It’s a chance to create places of care for children in small communities,” the Minister adds.

 

The ministerial programme for development of care institutions for children up to the age of 3 Toddler+ has been functioning for 8 years. In November 2015, changes were introduced to the programme, thanks to which the number of created places for the youngest increased from an average of approx. 4 thousand places annually to approx. 5.6 thousand places in 2016, and approx. 8.4 thousand places in 2017, thanks to the possibility of applying for co-financing for creating new places by non-communal entities.

 

In 2018, as a result of successive changes in the programme and a threefold increase in funds for development of nurseries and children’s clubs, around 24 thousand places may be created, i.e. more than 6 times more than on average in 2011-2016. The number of places for children at the end of the year may amount to 143 thousand.

 

 

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