The Malta Women’s Lobby has welcomed the pilot project to extend the hours of childcare centres.
Minister for Education Justyne Caruana had announced that a pilot scheme to extend the hours and days of government run childcare centres will start operating at six centres starting from October 2021. The participating centres in this scheme will extend their opening and closing hours, starting at 6am instead of 7.30am and closing at 6pm instead of 4.30pm. The centres will also open on Saturdays between 6am and 1pm.
The group said that the extension of the hours “will surely assist those parents that need to physically report for work earlier in the day or conclude their working time later in the day.”
The group also takes note of the Remote Working Policy launched by the public service for its employees and it augurs that this and other family-friendly measures widely diffused within the public service and public sector, where applicable, are adopted by a wider spectrum of employers within the private sector.
“The wider adoption of such policies would enable parents to share the childcare responsibilities between them in the early months of their children’s lives, to the benefit of the children’s development. The Lobby also invites government to start discussions on the Work Life Balance Directive as soon as possible, with the involvement of NGOs in the discussion.”