STA, 23 October 2020 - With a week-long closure of preschools starting on Monday and many parents trying to figure out how to combine work and childcare, Social Affairs Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said on Friday that the parents taking work days off to mind their children will be eligible to a compensation amounting to 80% of their salary.
Moreover, Education Minister Simona Kustec, said at the same press conference that parents would not be paying for childcare while their child was not in kindergarten.
She also appealed to mayors to make childcare available for parents who must work and have no other childcare possibility, adding that mayors understood the needs of their communities best.
Kustec expressed belief that people were aware of the severity of the situation and that only those in jobs that are vital to the state and the society would opt to bring their child to kindergarten.
Kindergartens and mayors will decide how they will be checking whether the childcare is really necessary for an individual child.
The minister said the decision to close kindergartens was made due to the doubling in the number of coronavirus cases among staff.
Kindergartens are to remain closed next week, during the autumn holiday for primary and secondary schools.
When asked whether children would return to brick and mortar schools after that, Kustec said this would be decided towards the end of next week. This is also when it would be decided whether kindergartens will reopen.
Asked about subsidised school meals for poor students, Kustec said that most children had access to these in the past week, when student beyond grade 5 of primary school had already been remotely schooled.
If the lockdown will stretch out for a longer period, then a system solution will have to be found for this issue, the minister said.
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