Miqdadi: Concerns over reluctance to invest in nurseries due to "Corona"


NCFA “is preparing a manual for safety procedures in nurseries”

May 27, 2020


Amman - In cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Social Development, NCFA is developing a manual for safety and health procedures in nurseries in a bid to lower the risk of COVID-19 spread and to maintain healthy environments.

NCFA Secretary General, Dr. Muhammad Miqdadi pointed out that the manual aims to ensure maximum preparedness when this sector reopens, by clarifying methods and procedures for handling children and the nursery environment to prevent the transmission of the virus in nurseries.

According to Miqdadi, the manual will include “an outline of procedures for drop off and pick up of children, the appropriate sterilization mechanisms for tools, toys and sanitation facilities within the nursery, ways to enhance social distancing as much as possible within the nurseries, safety and health conditions while feeding children, ventilation of the nursery and health and safety guidelines for nursery workers,” noting that the manual will be developed into instructional videos.

He told Al-Ghad that the nursery sector’s importance lies in its role in supporting the continuation of women’s work in all sectors.

Yet, the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development’s figures revealed that enrolment rates in nurseries was low, not exceeding 5%, according to Miqdadi, who expressed his hope that “the Corona crisis will not cause many people to refrain from investing in this sector considering it fruitless.”

He pointed out that "with the closure of the licensed nurseries, the shift has been made to unlicensed and non-controlled home nurseries, with no way of knowing what is happening inside them, how many children there are, and to what degree they are convenient."

"The Corona crisis calls for serious consideration about the file of home nurseries and for the establishment of a mechanism for qualifying and licensing them,"Miqdady said, noting that in the event that there is a transition from licensed nurseries to home nurseries, "it would be necessary to find a licensing mechanism to ensure supervision and provision of a safe environment for children." He expressed his belief that "in the event of applying the procedures manual that was developed by the council in cooperation with the ministries of Social Development and Health, a lot of problems could be avoided.”

With regard to flexible and remote work options and whether they are considered a solution to the problem of nurseries, Miqdadi explained that, “it has become obvious that remote working is not an easy experience for mothers in the absence of support with child care, aside from the fact that the culture of remote working is weak or non-existent in many sectors; and in some professions and services, it is not applicable, confirming the fact that the nursery is an urgent need."

Minister of Social Development, Basma Ishaqat, said in previous press statements that "the Ministry will submit a proposal to open part of the nurseries, especially those within institutions."

According to the Jordanian Family Status Report issued by the NCFA in 2018, “75% of families with working mothers do not prefer to send their children to nurseries. Findings showed that the most common alternative to nurseries is for a relative to take care of the child reaching 56%, followed by home nurseries at 20%.”

Based on figures issued by the Ministry of Social Development, the total number of nurseries in the Kingdom amounted to 1,424, accommodating around 50 thousand children, 650 of which are school, college or university nurseries, while institutional nurseries in the public and private sectors combined amounted to 109 nurseries distributed across the medical sector which has 20 nurseries, governmental institutions 16, private sector institutional nurseries which serve the children of employees 73. Besides that, there are about 683 commercial nurseries affiliated with the private sector that receive the vast majority of children.