KUWAIT CITY, Aug 20: The owners of nurseries are blaming the Ministry of Social Affairs, which is responsible for about 600 day care and training homes, for neglecting their nurseries amid failure to include them in the return plan; thus threatening the nurseries with complete closure, reports Al-Rai daily.
While the nursery owners confirmed having the ability to receive children safely using the safest preventive methods and even ready to return to work, indicating the child’s safety is an absolute priority. They asked whether the health clubs are more important than returning nurseries.
Some of them also talked about the financial crisis and losses they’ve incurred exceed their ability to even borrow, and the decision to return installments to the parents exacerbated them, especially since 75 percent of the owners of the nurseries are women who are afraid of taking loan, as failure to pay may lead to prison.
At the meeting, the affected people stressed the need to reopen the nurseries due to their educational and psychological importance to the health of children, besides compensating for the losses and burdens incurred over the past months.
They criticized the absence of vision in the Ministry of Social Affairs and concerned authorities regarding the date of reopening nurseries, which is pushing their national industry to an unknown fate.
While Fayez Al-Shammari stressed the importance of nurseries and the care they provide in teaching and correcting children’s behavior, he pointed out that demands are summarized in the inclusion of nurseries in the gradual return to life plan, and permitting the renewal of licenses to be able to renew the residency of workers.
“We are ready to work within any requirements set by the government, and we have a plan to ensure the children safely,” he added.
Alia Al-Mashri reviewed the most prominent obstacles facing the nurseries, as a result of the continuous closure of six months without an early date of returning to work.
She said the “nursery owners have suffered a great deal, and the most prominent thing is their inability to pay the rent of closed buildings in the absence of resource, while they cannot pay salaries or terminate signed contracts, in addition to the many expenses exhausting the owners of nurseries and placing them under an unprecedented financial burden”.
About the possibility of business owners borrowing to run their projects, Al-Mashri asked, “How do we borrow to increase the expenses when there is no income to pay off the loan?” She noted about 75 percent of the owners of nurseries are women. “Should we take a loan and fail to pay and go to prison”, she asked.
For her part, Zahra Taqi asked about the role the Ministry of Social Affairs plays as an agency responsible for nurseries, indicating the ministry has not drawn up a plan for the return of nurseries to work, and has neither worked to include the nurseries in government’s plan for a gradual return, as if the nursery sector is not included in the activities.
Regarding the nurseries’ readiness to receive children in a safe environment, she affirmed that “nursery owners have a ready-made plan to return to work and the safety of the child is an absolute priority, in addition to the safety conditions for the facility.”
Maryam Fakhro asked if the return of health clubs is more important than the return of nurseries, and what is the purpose of excluding them from the return to life plan”, especially as it is a vital sector whose mission is to educate and care for the child in the stage of forming his personality.
“The nurseries are ready to work, all health requirements are available to work according to the number that allows for physical distancing to avoid mixing,” she added.
For her part, Moudhi Al-Omairi described nurseries as an entity specialized in caring for and fostering children. She wondered why the Ministry of Social Affairs neglects the most important sector that forms the child’s personality and refines his talents.
She pointed out that “approximately 600 nurseries are affected by the pandemic and all we demand is to restore life to this sector and include it in the specified stages, in accordance with the full requirements by providing protection for children”.
She hopes that attention would be given to the nurseries and what they suffer from, especially as they were not mentioned in the return plans.