Free childcare intiative welcome by women’s organisations
The Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO) welcomes the Government’s plans for free childcare centres as from April 1, 2014 which will be offered to all working parents and those still studying who wish to send their children to any public or private quality childcare centre.
Research has been showing that the lack of quality and affordable childcare is one factor that affects maternal employment. For this reason the MCWO has been lobbying for such an initiative for years and was pleased that the last Budget 2014 had focused on increasing female participation through free childcare and the broadening and strengthening the after-school services.
This initiative will directly improve the quality of life of families, especially single parent households. More mothers will be less financially dependent on their spouses and on social benefits and will contribute to their own pensions while increasing their opportunities for improving their careers.
Lorraine Spiteri Chairperson of MCWO said “It is also a measure towards better work-life balance for both parents and with an expected more paternal involvement which helps towards a stronger and lasting relationship between fathers and children. Furthermore this should also affect Malta’s demography which is currently declining rapidly and has reached below the EU average.”
The increase of more quality childcare centres also means more supply of jobs within the childcare sector and better awareness on the benefits of early childhood education of children, especially for those coming from a deprived social background. However the Confederation again urges the government to enact the legislation to regulate childcare centres which till now are still unregulated.
An increase in female participation means improvement in Malta’s economic growth through the payment of tax and contributions and better sustainability of pensions. The MCWO strongly believes that the Government’s investment in this incentive will bring about a stronger Maltese economy in the interest to society at large.
The Confederation is an umbrella organisation that represents 14 local member organisations which collectively have 24,000 female members. The MCWO is a full member of the Brussels based European Women’s Lobby.