The government intends to create an additional 10,000 places in daycare centers in the coming years, the Prime Minister announced today, who described the free daycare measure as a “very important support to family income”.
“Right now, our goal is to expand over the next few years to 10,000 daycare places across the country, to strive to respond to the needs of families seeking daycare, who still lack one,” said Antonio Costa.
The Prime Minister was speaking in Amadora (Lisbon), after visiting Luis Madureira Day Nursery, accompanied by the Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, and the Minister of State for Inclusion, Ana Sofia Antunes.
According to the Chief Executive, this increase in daycare places is foreseen in the agreement signed by the government “with the Confederation of Misericórdias, the Confederation of Exchanges, the Confederation of Cooperatives and the National Confederation of Solidarity Institutions (CNIS)” and will be implemented within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) and Portugal 2030 Costa considered that this increase in supply should accompany the measure of free daycare, given that “in many areas of the country,” Amadora included, there are “many children on the waiting list.”
Regarding free daycare, Costa said the measure will come into effect on September 1, and will apply in the first year “to all children born since September 1, 2021.”
Next year, according to the prime minister, this bonus will be extended “for children who will attend not only in the first year, but also in the second year, and finally, in 2023, 2024, for all children attending daycare centres.”
“To get a clear idea of what this represents, it means that the state is no longer exclusively subsidizing low-income families, which were in the first and second levels – who already had free day care – but now they cover all children and regardless of family income, it becomes Thus a scale of a global nature,” he noted.
An example of the Luis Madureira day nursery, which he was visiting, Costa emphasized that, in that particular institution, “there were 10 children that were covered free at the moment”, the number having risen to 48 as of September this year.
Thus the Prime Minister considered free daycare to be “a very important process, as it would mean a very important support to the family’s income”. Costa emphasized, however, that this is not an “isolated measure” and should be addressed in conjunction with other measures, such as updating family allowance levels, increasing this allowance and creating a Childhood Guarantee.
“This year we are taking a very important step towards the goal we have set for ourselves of having a strong child support policy, which will help us meet the demographic challenge, and in particular, support families with children, of course, and he stressed that we all feel we need special support Especially in this very difficult year we are all going through.”
But the prime minister stressed that this “effort will not be possible without meeting a set of conditions”, starting with highlighting “good budget management” by the state.
He stressed that “despite the context of uncertainty we are witnessing, today we are strong enough to be able to take these steps to strengthen social policies without jeopardizing the goals of reducing public debt.”
The second condition, according to the Prime Minister, is the fact that “despite the inflationary surge” we are seeing in Portugal, the economy is “holding up well” and companies are “finding new markets to be able to export”. And continue to ‘increase your production’.
Finally, the Prime Minister also highlighted the government’s “work of great proximity and solidarity” with “the municipalities, but also with all third sector institutions”.
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