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Child Care Facilities

 
 
March 2014 update:
Government announces free childcare sheme




Government has announced free childcare centres will be available from April 2014. Most childcare centres currently operating in Malta and Gozo have signed up to the new scheme.
 
The initiative has been widened in scope so that parents who are in education, as well as those in employment, will be able to make use of this service.
Parents will be entitled to free childcare services based on the number of hours they work.. An additional hour per day and the equivalent of 10% of the entitlement will be added to the total to allow for commuting.
 
Students studying on a part-time basis will be entitled to 20 hours while those studying full-time will benefit from 40 hours.
 
Minister for Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo, said that the proposal had already proved a success with childcare centre providers prepared to invest in facilities and expand. The Minister said that the educational aspect of the initiative would be given priority, so that children enjoyed a stimulating educational experience.
 
Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna said that this scheme which provides free childcare must be seen as an investment (valued at €3.8 million in the 2014 budget) which seeks to utilise a previously untapped resource – female employment.
 
Prof. Scicluna added that this initiative represents one of the Government’s major economic reforms, and said that through it, the Government is both increasing the female participation in the labour force, and also strengthening the country’s skills as the initiative is also available to those parents seeking to further their education.


Application Form for the Free Childcare Scheme

List of Childcare Centres Registered in the Scheme





Choosing the Right
Child Care Centre for your Child

 

 
 

 

 
One of the biggest decisions a parent can make is choosing the right child care centre for their child. I faced that dilemma when I decided to return to work and without any previous exposure to child care, found myself a bit daunted and unsure what to look for.
 
It’s a massive decision and one that can be quite overwhelming. As it is, you are probably experiencing mixed feelings about placing your child into care. You’ve probably spent years on a waiting list and jump at any offer that comes your way. But how do you know which centre is right for you?
 
The first thing you should do when offered a position is to make a time to have a look around the centre. Whilst there take note of the following:
 
  1. Are the premises clean and tidy?
  2. Do the children look happy and content?
  3. Is there artwork displayed throughout the building?
  4. Are the toileting areas child-friendly and hygienic?
  5. Is there equipment out for the children to play with?

There should be lots of equipment around to stimulate your childs imagination. This helps to enhance their learning experience.
 
 
Asking the following questions may also help you to form a decision you’re comfortable with:
 
  1. What is the staff turnover like? There should be a display of all staff members and how long they’ve served at the centre.
  2. Can you visit the centre and your child at any time?
  3. Will the centre do up portfolios of your child’s work throughout the year? This is like a display book of photo’s of your child and artwork they’ve done that you get at the end of the year. It’s a wonderful momento that you can look back on over the years.
  4. Ask to have a look at the programming for the room your child will be in. This is an outline of what the children will do on a specific week.
  5. Ask to see the routine for the room. The children should have lunch at a certain time, outside play etc.
  6. Does the centre have open days like ‘Grandparents Day’ where members of the extended family can visit.
  7. You should be able to view the centre’s policies at any time so ask where they are located.
 
Other factors to consider include:
  • is the centre a registered centre or approved centre
  • the cost
  • whether you have to pay for public holidays and sick days
  • whether you have to pay for any shut down periods (eg. over Christmas)
  • does the centre supply food or will you supply it
  • hours of operation
 
Ultimately, you should feel comfortable with the centre you are enrolling your child at. If you walk in and feel at ease, find that the staff are friendly and the children seem happy then that’s a great start.
 
 


 
Tax Deduction for Parents
The Department for Social Welfare Standards (DSWS) grants a provisional / temporary registration to confirm that a child day care facility is compliant with the established standards for Child Day Care Facilities.
 
According to Article 14C of the Income Tax Act (Chapter 123 of the Laws of Malta), parents whose children attended Child Day Care Facilities can benefit from a deduction in the tax amount payable to the Inland Revenue Department.  These childcare facilities have to be registered with the DSWS.
 
Please check this link to see an updated list of childcare centres registered with DSWS. 
 
Should you need any other information regarding this matter, or about any other services provided by the Department of Social Welfare Standards, please feel free to contact the Department either by email or by phone on 2278 8245.


  


 
ETC Childcare Subsidy Scheme
The ETC offers a subsidy of Eur1.50 per hour on childcare services availed of by individuals during the period of training offered by the Corporation. The amount of hours eligible for subsidization are calculated from one hour prior to one hour following the duration of the training course and is available to all individuals having parental responsibilities.

In all cases, the subsidy shall only apply for the days and times during which a parent/guardian is attending for an ETC training course.


What can you do to benefit from this scheme?

Submit your application form depending on the length of course that you are enrolled on together with:

  • A copy of your ID Card
  • Birth certificate of children/child
  • Letter from the Board of Foster Carers (Only applicable to foster carers)
  • Copy of the fiscal receipt for the use of childcare services

Send all the above documents to the following address: Employment and Training Corporation, Finance Unit, Head Office, Hal Far BBG 3000.
 
Applications together with all requested documents and receipts must reach the Corporation by no later than the tenth day of the month following the end of the training course or the tenth day of the beginning of each new month in the case of training courses that are longer than one month. 

The total amount reimbursed will reflect childcare services availed of during hours of training. The subsidy will be issued in the form of a non-transferable cheque by ETC and sent by post to you.
 

Download a copy of the application form from here.

 
 
 
 



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