Today’s report on efforts to establish a sustainable funding structure for the early childhood development (ECD) sector and extra-curricular activities of the safety net in St. Maarten should not go unnoticed. They could turn out to be more important to society than many realize.
A recent survey on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis conducted in 24 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank (see Wednesday’s document) showed that, certainly in terms of employment, mothers aged 0-5 have been among the hardest hit. Forty percent of those working women aged 18 and over lost their jobs before the pandemic.
Women in general were twice as likely to be unemployed as a result of the pandemic.
“This situation is exacerbated by an increase in women’s household responsibilities, including monitoring children in distance education, and a higher incidence of mental health problems,” he said in the related article. .
While children are legally required to go to school before the age of four on the Dutch side, early education for the young is less regulated and left to the initiative of the private sector, starting with daycare. Since the organizations involved often do not receive consistent government grants like regular education school boards do, their services tend to be relatively expensive, especially when people have lower incomes than before.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (EYCS) is developing a system not to replace these existing facilities but to provide them with stable financial support and advice in cooperation with UNICEF Netherlands. As part of the Child Resilience and Protection Project (CRPP) executed with the means of the Dutch-sponsored trust fund, it could greatly improve the position of recent mothers in the labor market, offering them more options. affordable where their little one can safely go for less than part of the day and benefit from quality standardized learning experiences.