No space in Male' City to establish daycare center

Gender Minister Aishath Mohamed Didi has said there is no space in Male' City to provide daycare services.

This year's budget includes a pre-tendering project to establish a daycare center in Male'. MVR 1.1 million has been allocated for the project.

In a written response sent to the Parliament answering inquiries by Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood, the minister said the Gender Ministry had done a lot of work to establish a center for daycare services in the city as part of the government's Strategic Action Plan. She said many discussions had been held with various relevant agencies from the beginning of 2021 to March this year regarding the matter.

The minister said plans to establish a daycare center in Male' under the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Strengthening Gender Inclusive Initiatives (SGII) project has also been canceled due to a lack of space in the city.

The minister said the ministry had researched other ways that can alleviate the difficulties faced by working parents in caring for their children during work hours. In this regard, she said discussions took place with the President's Office this August regarding establishing in-house "Child Care Spaces" in the workplace. She said a relevant paper was submitted, and the Social Council has recommended the paper's implementation.

The minister said the standards that a "Child Care Space" should have are being prepared, and discussions are underway to establish such facilities in government-owned companies. According to the discussions so far, STELCO and Maldives Ports Limited have said that they will set up "Child Care Space" services this year, she said.