Da Nang - A shortage of kindergartens for the children of migrant labourers in Da Nang City-based industrial zones has put pressure on workers and authorities.
|Children at a private kindergarten in Da Nang’s Lien Chieu District. – Photo foody.vn
Lu Thi Kim Hoa, head of the Education Office in Lien Chieu District said that the supply of kindergartens in the city fell short of demand from workers in industrial zones.
Meanwhile, licensed public and private kindergartens in nearby residential areas are overloaded, forcing many workers to send their children to unlicensed childcare facilities, she said.
The district has only 36 licensed public and private kindergartens and more than 210 unlicensed childcare facilities.
There are over 70,000 workers in the city’s industrial zones, more than 30,000 of which worked in Hoa Khanh industrial zone alone, about 60 per cent of whom are female.
Many facilities could not meet necessary safety and health requirements.
In the past, managing childcare faciltities was the responsibility of local authorities, Hoa said.
However, the office still advises localities to manage and control unlicensed kindergartens to avoid risks to children, she said.
Duc Thang, a worker in Hoa Khanh industrial zone’s Viet My Steel Production Joint Stock Company, told Lao Đong (Labour) newspaper that he spent months looking for a babysitter for his nine-month-old son.
He asked his friends for help finding a day-care centre on social networks.
“I have to trust their advice. But it’s hard to know the real quality of unlicensed centres,” Thang said.
Another worker said that she sent her daughter to a babysitter and was satisfied with the care for the first two years.
But then the quality dropped sharply when the centre accepted more children, she said.
She then had to ask her parents to take care of her child, the worker said.
The newspaper reported that city authorities recently approved a project by a US foundation to build a care centre and kindergarten for needy children.
The centre, One Sky Da Nang, will be constructed at Lien Chieu District Hoa Khanh Bac Ward.
The project is expected to feature office buildings, multipurpose rooms, security areas, classrooms, and a playground for children from six to thirty-six months.
Sponsored by Half the Sky Foundation with a budget of VNĐ75.9 billion (US$3.4 million), the centre is intended to take care of children of workers at the Hoa Khanh Industrial Park.
The centre will be built between 2016 and 2019.
However, according to the newspaper’s research, only 250 children will be cared for over three consecutive years.
With this limited number, it will not meet the huge demand of workers in the industrial zone.
Hoa explained that this choice was based on international standards with high quality of care and teaching.
“About 250 children of needy families in Hoa Khanh Industrial Park will be chosen for caring at the centre under the foundation’s standard,” she said.
To meet demand and ensure the children’s safety, health and proper development, the city’s construction department is studying a plan to convert dormitories for students in the west of the city to worker accommodation complexes, with kindergartens, Nguyen Van Nam, deputy director said.
The department has assigned the planning institute to research the plan and report to city authorities and the Government, he said.
It has also co-ordinated with relevant agencies to study a project for all the industrial parks in the city, Nam added.VNS