Send kids to li­censed nurs­eries only: of­fi­cial

Gulf Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Ay­man Adly Staff Re­porter

Un­li­censed and un­reg­u­lated home nurs­eries will not be tol­er­ated by the Min­istry of Ad­min­is­tra­tive De­vel­op­ment, Labour and So­cial Af­fairs (MADLSA) and such cen­tres will be dealt with strictly ac­cord­ing to the law.

The on­go­ing aware­ness cam­paign “Eyalak Amana” (Your Chil­dren are Pre­cious), launched by MADLSA last month, to com­bat the spread of such nurs­eries has been ac­tively in­struct­ing peo­ple on the risks in­volved in send­ing kids to ‘il­le­gal’ nurs­eries as they are op­er­at­ing out­side the law and could not be mon­i­tored by the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned.

Bothina al-Mo­han­nadi, se­nior in­spec­tor of nurs­eries, pointed out that MADLSA of­fi­cials nor­mally have no ac­cess to such il­le­gal home nurs­eries, as they op­er­ate out­side the law. How­ever, she stressed that when any re­port of such cen­tre is re­ceived by the MADLSA, it is re­ferred to the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned and the se­cu­rity de­part­ment at the Min­istry of In­te­rior han­dles the is­sue by con­duct­ing proper in­ves­ti­ga­tions and tak­ing all nec­es­sary ac­tion.

Al-Mo­han­nadi pointed out that the aware­ness cam­paign, which now reaches more peo­ple in the coun­try through the var­i­ous means of the me­dia in­clud­ing the so­cial me­dia, has made pos­i­tive re­sults in achiev­ing the de­sired tar­gets.

“The cam­paign aims to stress the fact that the un­li­censed nurs­eries can­not be trusted with kids as they nor­mally are not equipped or pre­pared to han­dle this vo­ca­tion and there is no mech­a­nism to en­sure that the chil­dren are safe and well-taken care of ,” she said.

In the mean­time, she pointed out that MADLSA in­spec­tors pay at least one sur­prise visit a month to every li­censed nurs­ery in the coun­try, where all the fea­tures of safety, se­cu­rity and health of the kids are checked, be­sides the other nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tory and ad­min­is­tra­tive is­sues. Mi­nor ad­min­is­tra­tive and pa­per­work vi­o­la­tions are some­times seen dur­ing such visits, where the in­spec­tor gives no­tice to cor­rect the sit­u­a­tion.

These le­gal nurs­eries are sup­posed to con­duct an evac­u­a­tion drill for the kids at least once a month to en­hance the safety of the chil­dren.

Ac­cord­ing to Law No.1 for 2014 reg­u­lat­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties of nurs­ery schools, and MADLSA reg­u­la­tions in this re­gard, each nurs­ery should be op­er­at­ing from a sep­a­rate stand-alone and ded­i­cated build­ing ap­proved by the Civil De­fence, the Traf­fic De­part­ment and other en­ti­ties con­cerned based on its com­pli­ance with cer­tain safety and se­cu­rity stan­dards. Sur­veil­lance cam­eras are of­ten in­stalled in class­rooms and par­ents have the right to mon­i­tor the well-be­ing of their chil­dren. Such fea­tures are of­ten lack­ing in un­reg­u­lated and il­le­gal nurs­eries as they are of­ten run from homes with no qual­i­fied or trained staff.

Al-Mo­han­nadi said that nurs­ery in­spec­tors at MADLSA are keen to en­sure that chil­dren are in safe hands. Among the main con­di­tions for run­ning a nurs­ery are em­ploy­ment of qual­i­fied nan­nies and teach­ers in pro­por­tion to the num­ber of chil­dren, be­sides a full-time li­censed nurse and a vis­it­ing physi­cian, who con­ducts health checks of the chil­dren once a month. Also, the nurs­ery should main­tain a health file for every kid.

Cur­rently, there are 191 li­censed nurs­eries across the coun­try and the MADLSA en­cour­ages the pri­vate sec­tor to open more in the ex­ter­nal ar­eas. There are two nurs­eries at Al She­haniyah and Al Ruwais.

It has been learnt that the aware­ness cam­paign has en­cour­aged an in­creas­ing num­ber par­ents to avoid un­li­censed home nurs­eries.

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