Changes to childcare coming in 2016


Every year, we plan a budget for building schools and kindergartens. Very few of those plans are carried out and most of them are gone with the wind. Every fall, issues about kindergartens arise, and parents are faced with a terrible decision: to bribe or not to bribe.
Some choose to bribe the authorities and teachers to save time and secure a place for their child in crowded schools. On the other hand, some parents have no money to pay bribes and end up locking their children up at home alone. Many incidents of children starting fires in their homes, hurting themselves, and even dying have been recorded, all because they were left alone at home. To avoid losing more children to these tragedies, lawmakers approved and adopted a law on childcare services.
The law will take effect on January 1, 2016. This law was opposed by some parliament members, specifically members of the Mongolian People’s Party. “Children’s rights are stepped on due to this law. There will be no supervision of food or the teachers. You’re just trying to spend more money,” they criticized. Female members of parliament supported the law and believed it would be better for children to be in someone else’s care than left alone, locked up at home.
As of 2013, out of the 247,104 kids between the ages of two to five nationwide, 61,585 (one in four) did not have access to a preschool education. In the capital, out of the 74,900 kids in the same age group, 21,400 (one in three) lacked access. With the emergence of this law, 15,000 new jobs will be created and 90,000 kids will be provided with the chance to enroll in kindergartens.
People with permission to provide childcare can offer this service in homes they own or rent. But those homes and environments should be safe for children, pose no risk to their health, and should provide an environment where the children are safe. If the childcare service is offered in a private residence, the kitchen must be separate from the living room; if a toilet outside is used, it should be safe and clean; and if there is an open furnace, chimney, or stove, they should be child-proofed.
The childcare provider should be a high school graduate, should enroll in the state’s childcare course and earn a completion certificate, should know how to deal with kids, be healthy with no mental or infectious illnesses, have no criminal record, and be a Mongolian citizen from 18 to 65 years of age. For every five kids there should be one childcare provider, with a maximum number of 15 children per home childcare facility.
Childcare services will be available for longer than eight hours. Private kindergartens are criticized for playing cartoons for kids and nothing else. The childcare law touches on this issue. Now, it’s illegal to allow children to watch TV, play with smart devices, or be engaged in religious activities for more than 60 minutes per day.
Food and normative spending on children in childcare programs will be financed by the state. Today, a kindergarten child costs 116,000 MNT per school year. If we calculate that 52,300 kids who are not able to attend kindergarten today will now be able to enroll thanks to this law, Mongolia will need 54.5 billion MNT by the end of 2015.
The state is adopting this law in the cold winter because they want to be ready and prepared. This was one of the most controversial legislations to be approved this spring, and it requires 54 billion MNT for implementation. We didn’t plan for it in the budget this year, and even if we did plan it, the government doesn’t have the money to finance it. Therefore, the project will be implemented next year, when the government can make realistic budget plans.

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Posted by on Jul 30 2015. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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